Monday, February 6, 2012

Helping Someone you Love who has PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a trauma. PTSD in the military doesn't just come from being in a war zone. It can come from other things too... being robbed, being in a horrible accident, being raped or being a victim of any sexual assualt.

Let's start with some PTSD facts -

Experts think PTSD occurs:
*In about 11-20% of Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom), or in 11-20 Veterans out of 100.
*In as many as 10% of Gulf War (Desert Storm) Veterans, or in 10 Veterans out of 100.
*In about 30% of Vietnam Veterans, or about 30 out of 100 Vietnam Veterans.
*23 out of 100 women (23%) reported sexual assault when in the military.
*55 out of 100 women (55%) and 38 out of 100 men (38%) have experienced sexual harassment when in the military.

During my google search I found this - Five Rules for Helping Someone with PTSD

Rule #1: Do not take her behavior personally.
PTSD is not about you. It is about her fear. It is about her anxiety. It is about her pain. It is not about you. Understanding this does not make the problems (or obnoxious behaviors) go away. But it can keep your feelings and your relationship from being hurt unnecessarily.

Rule #2: Set boundaries
Do not under any circumstances tolerate unacceptable behavior.
Do not tolerate abuse of any kind. You are not a punching bag or a target for degrading insults.

Rule #3: Do not expect much in return.

Right now your loved one doesn't have much to offer because they are most likely struggling just to get through the day. You WILL NEED your own support network.

Rule #4: Do not judge.
Your loved one may need/want to talk about it with you. It may make them feel better to get it out and they need someone they can trust to come to w/o fear of being judged.

Rule #5: Have fun.
Remind your loved one of fun times and do fun things together. Even if they don't want to, they might just do it to please you and they might just get into it. Laughter heals...having fun almost always brings about laughter.

((I found this info at - lots of other great links on this site too))

More helpful links:
16 Ways To Help A Friend With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD Support
Help 4 PTSD

If you're an app person with your phone, check out PTSD Coach - PTSD Coach mobile app wins FCC award for helping people use technology to manage PTSD symptoms.

Hope this helps some =)

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