How to Support a Spouse with PTSD
One in ten people experience PTSD throughout their lives, and even then, not many people know what it is exactly or how to live with this disorder.
Posttraumatic stress syndrome is a psychiatric disorder that appears in people who have experienced a dramatic episode in life such as war, kidnapping or violence. It can usually manifest as nightmares that recall the harrowing experience lived in the past.
In a relationship, PTSD can trigger several problems between the couple since the person who suffers it usually diminishes their social interactions, both with their spouse and with their friends and family. Also, a person with PTSD will begin to lose interest in hobbies and entertainment, being indifferent to situations that used to make them happy.
The consequences of PTSD for a married couple can range from simple discussions to arguments that may lead to divorce. That is why it is necessary to know how you can help your spouse with PTSD to overcome this difficult situation. Below you will find some tips that will help both you and your partner.
Find out about this disorder in detail
It is necessary to be fully informed about everything related to this type of disorder. This way, you will be able to understand your spouse better. When someone with PTSD feels understood by their partner, they can overcome the disease more efficiently.
Make sure your spouse knows that you care about them and that you want to hear about their feelings. However, you mustn’t press the issue. If your partner isn’t ready to talk about the situation, don’t force them, this will only make their mood worse. Give them the time they need and let them know you’ll always be there for them when they’re ready.
Try to be a good listener
When your spouse is ready to talk, choose a time and place without distractions where you can both feel comfortable. Be sure to listen carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. This way, your spouse will know that there is someone who cares about them and with whom they can let off steam. Remember not to make assumptions, not to judge, and don’t question the validity of what they’re saying. Remember that this is a difficult time for your partner, and what they don’t need is to feel guilty.
Pause if you consider it necessary
If you feel that the conversation is becoming too intense for your loved one, allow them to stop and resume the conversation at another time. It is not always easy to talk about these types of situations, even with a loved one.
Seek the help of a professional
The person with this type of disorder must start psychological therapy as soon as possible. A psychologist who has experience in helping people with PTSD will know precisely what to say, and they can decide with you what is the best way to help your loved one. There are currently a large number of specialists in this area. Just by searching online for PTSD treatment available on the Gold Coast, you will find several professionals available to help you.
Don’t minimise any talk about suicide
If your spouse speaks or behaves in a way that makes you think they might try to commit suicide, respond calmly, but act immediately. Make sure they’re not left alone at any time. If possible, discreetly remove pills, firearms or any other object that they can use to hurt themselves, and seek help from a trained professional as soon as possible.
If you consider it necessary, contact a family member or close friend who can help you with this situation. All in all, it is essential that you remain calm and do not take it lightly.
Plan activities with your spouse
It’s helpful to start planning activities where your partner is involved and somehow motivate them to go out and clear their mind a little. It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple plan like going out to get some fresh air in the garden, the important thing is to do it. In cases where your spouse might refuse to do so, don’t push them too much, since you will make them feel overwhelmed and worsen the situation.
Remember that people suffering from this type of disorder generally find themselves easily irritated. Keep in mind that this type of reaction is a symptom of PTSD. So don’t feel guilty and try to keep calm.
Dealing with PTSD is an ongoing process, and there is no specific period for recovery; it may be a few weeks or several months. Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Having to support a loved one living with trauma can be stressful for you both, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help for yourself if you feel it’s adversely affecting you.
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