Tips for Supporting a Loved One with PTSD

May 26, 2023
Tips for Supporting a Loved One with PTSD
If you have a loved one that has PTSD, you might be reaching for answers on how you can provide support. Here, you’ll learn some encouraging steps to take that can help with your current situation.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a challenging condition to live with, both for the person affected and their loved ones. People with PTSD may experience anxiety, depression, anger, and flashbacks, all of which can affect their daily lives, relationships, and work. 

As a friend or family member, it can be tough to see someone you love and care about struggle with PTSD. However, you can empower them to find strength and hope. Research suggests that a strong support system can reduce PTSD symptoms for those who have it and play an extremely important role in their healing. 

When you partner with Betsy Serrano, PMHNP, and our compassionate team at Cora Health Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona, we can provide the support you and your loved one need and deserve.

Here, we offer eight ways you can provide better support your loved one with PTSD:

Educate yourself about PTSD

Learning about PTSD can give you a better understanding of what your loved one is going through, how to manage their symptoms, and how to be more supportive. Take the time to read informative books, attend workshops, talk to our medical professionals, or join support groups.

Acknowledge the issue

One of the most critical steps in helping and supporting someone with PTSD is to acknowledge their struggle. However, ignoring it or pretending it doesn't exist won’t make it go away. Support your loved one by listening to them and showing them you understand. Your gentle approach can help them hear you and be willing to seek and accept the support they need.

Encourage them to seek professional help

PTSD is a medical condition, and it requires proper medical care. Sometimes people with PTSD may refuse to seek help, or want to avoid medications prescribed by doctors. 

When talking with your loved one, allow them to hear and feel your empathy, and let them know that professional treatment with our expert team at Cora Health Solutions is readily available. We can help them learn management techniques for trauma issues, while the right medication can help alleviate some of their most severe symptoms.

Be patient and understanding

Living with PTSD can be tough on the affected person and their loved one, which means it can take time to cope with the symptoms. Offer patience and understanding, and try not to pressure them or impose unrealistic expectations. PTSD recovery is a long journey that requires time, effort, understanding, compassion, and reliable support.

Encourage healthy habits

Healthy habits and lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on your loved one’s overall well-being. Encourage them to establish the following healthy habits:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Get enough sleep

These habits can also reduce PTSD symptoms, including anxiety and depression.

Listen without judgment

Often, people living with PTSD may feel isolated and not want to talk about their feelings, experiences, or trauma. As a supportive partner, friend, or family member, it's essential to create a safe and nonjudgmental space for them to express themselves. Listen to them actively and calmly without passing judgment or trying to “fix” them or their circumstances.

Create a support system

Support systems can make a significant difference for someone who has PTSD. Your loved one may feel alone as they deal with their struggles, so it’s crucial to create an encouraging support system.

Take self-care breaks

Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Remember that you may need to take breaks and practice self-care. Caring for someone with PTSD can be emotionally and physically draining, and you need to take some time to recharge and manage your emotions.

At Cora Health Solutions, we can help you create a safe and supportive environment for your loved one with PTSD. If you’d like to learn more or are ready to make an appointment with our team, reach out to our friendly office staff today or book a consultation online at your convenience. We can help!