Living with Posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD can be overwhelming. It changes the way you behave to the environment and to your loved ones. Due to the symptoms the individual’s relation with others are greatly affected.
If you have someone in your life who is suffering with PTSD, you might have seen them going through the episodes. Seeing someone you love through such pain can be equally devastating. However, there are a few ways you can help them.
You can use the following techniques when someone in front of you is experiencing a PTSD episode:
- Provide a safe environment: When an individual experiences PTSD episodes their body assumes they are in danger even when they are not in reality. Here it is important you ensure the suffering individual that they are safe. You can either talk to them saying they are safe or simply stay there by their side.
- Anchor: During these episodes the individual feels that everything is out of control and often feel helpless and powerless. Making them feel anchored to reality can help them feel better. It can also help them get back to the present. Simple techniques like sorting a deck of cards, counting an object or practicing breathing exercises with them can be of great help.
- Give them time: Often many techniques take time to bring the person to reality. Allow the person to deal with the symptoms and wait for them to reduce. Once the episode is over give them time to catch up with the present. At times activities such as organising, deep breathing or listening to music can help.
- Talk: After the episode, when the person is okay, talk to them. Do not force a conversation but offer them if they want to. You can ask about the whole experience and how it started. At times, these conversations can help them identify triggers of the episode enabling them to be prepared in future.
Here are a few more ways you can help and support a loved one deal with PTSD episodes and symptoms:
- Understand the symptoms: To help, first, you need to learn as much as possible about the disorder. When you learn more, you will be able to understand the pain they go through, which is essential to be supportive. Understanding symptoms will also help you recognise them and provide necessary help.
- Recognise triggers: Recognising triggers will help you be prepared for what you need to do if an episode occurs. You will anticipate the episodes and symptoms and hence be prepared.
- Relaxation and orientation techniques: Relaxation techniques help the individual go through the episode smoothly and get out of them. Deep breathing exercise is one of them. Orientation techniques help them stay in touch with reality and get back to reality quicker. Some of them are counting objects, focusing on a clock, etc.
- Recommend professional help: If you feel the symptoms are affecting the person’s live greatly and they are too distress you may want to talk to a professional. There many mental health professionals, psychologists and psychiatrist available that can help them via therapies available.
Above all be with them. Show them that they are not alone. Make them feel that the things they are going through is normal and can be overcome. For any kind of recovery social support from family and friends are essential. For help call us now on +919741476476.