When it comes to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it’s one of those invisible illnesses that you don’t know about until you see it for yourself. Fortunately, mental health has been becoming more of a serious topic rather than being brushed ”under the rug”. So, what exactly is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Commonly known as PTSD, it’s a mental health condition that can affect people who have experienced or seen a traumatic event. PTSD symptoms can be different for everyone.

Understanding the symptoms and how they may affect your loved one is important. There are many ways you can help someone with PTSD. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for how to be a good friend or family member of someone who has PTSD. But there are some things that can help. So, here are five tips to be a good friend or family member of someone who has PTSD.

Image credit

1) Be patient and kind with them

When it comes to PTSD, there can be so many reasons why someone has it. Maybe your loved one was a Veteran and has to deal with a lot of difficulties during their time serving. Fortunately, there are resources for veterans such as www.veteransdisabilityinfo.com, that can help out. While veterans are commonly known for PTSD, that’s not the only group that can have it. Basically, anyone can get it, so PTSD can come in a variety of forms. 

Those who have been in abusive relationships, whether with their parents or partners could have dealt with this. Car accidents can be one, and even a death of a loved one can even ignite PTSD. There is a wave of reasons why someone may have this invisible illness, and every reason is valid.

2) Listen to what they have to say and take it seriously

If someone wants to share their past with you, then let them. But never try to pry it out of them. They’re basically going to be reliving memories and feeling emotions that they once felt. So, never ask about it, but if your friend or family member decides to bring it up then let them. Just let them know the option is on the table to never talk about it at all.

3) Don’t push too hard for them to do things they’re not ready for yet

This can be getting a veteran to watch a firework show (due to the noise sounding like explosions), to getting someone with an abusive past to watch a movie that shows abuse. But this can even extend to trying to make someone drive when a car accident gave them PTSD. It takes time to get over the hurdle that PTSD creates. It’s something that takes a lot of time. So make sure that you never rush this.

4) Keep in mind that they may need extra support and help with day-to-day tasks, even if they don’t ask for it

Those with PTSD need a lot of support, they need a lot of encouragement. it can be difficult to even have some day-to-day tasks done. So patience is going to really be needed for all of this. Encourage them to find ways of coping that work best for them–whether it’s therapy, exercise, or something else that is a healthy coping mechanism