Fact Checked

Coping Up With PTSD – How to Help Someone with PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second Summary
  • What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how does it look like?
  • How to detect early symptoms of PTSD and diagnose it? Looking out for signs that interfere in daily routine will aid in determining the need to address it at the earliest possible.
  • Understand how to manage potential triggers to reduce stress to the extent possible.
  • How can you support yourself or others suffering from PTSD?
  • Know FAQs related to PTSD.

Most individuals will experience some form of stress throughout their lives. Yet, when a substantial emotional response to a difficult event diminishes an individual’s capacity to cope, it’s often regarded to be traumatic.

Needless to say, traumatic events don’t always lead to cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But it is helpful for those who have experienced trauma as well as their close circle to recognize the symptoms and signs of PTSD, treatment methods, and how to help.

Trauma can fluctuate in severity and roughly one in three people who undergo traumatic occurrences further experience PTSD.

Nevertheless, despite its more common connection to veterans returning from combat, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that can affect anyone who has witnessed life-threatening or life-changing situations.

Understanding PTSD – What It Looks Like?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that afflicts individuals of all ages and from all walks of life. No one is immune to how trauma affects the human brain. Yet, PTSD may mean something different to each person as it can manifest in various ways.

The experience of post-traumatic stress can deviate depending on the trauma that the individual experienced, even signs and symptoms can differ greatly between people. Moreover, in some cases, symptoms can develop almost instantaneously. Yet for others, it can take years for symptoms to manifest and be acknowledged[1]. Furthermore, for many individuals, there’s a postponed onset of symptoms that seem to appear when the brain is no longer as scattered or the person has the time to reflect on what happened.

Ultimately, there’s no clear-cut answer as to why some individuals exhibit PTSD and others don’t. However, a succession of elements may induce the disorder or make people more susceptive to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, such as:

  • Exposure to traumatic events, factors like the amount of traumas endured, and the severity
  • Familial medical histories of depression and anxiety
  • Level of emotional intelligence and response
  • How the brain regulates the chemicals and hormones released in the body in response to stress and trauma
  • Professions such as firefighters, nurses, soldiers, EMTs, and law enforcement, expose individuals to more traumatic events than other jobs

How to Recognize Signs of PTSD

Recognize Signs of PTSD
It’s completely normal to feel impacted in some way by any traumatic experience. But the difference being is that most PTSD symptoms routinely interfere with an individual’s ability to function and go about their day.

There are numerous symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder yet these are oftentimes dismissed as something other than PTSD, such as depression. If symptoms worsen, begin to interfere with simple day-to-day activities, and don’t diminish, it might be advantageous to talk to someone about the very real possibility of a PTSD diagnosis.

When analyzing if you or a loved one are living with PTSD, it’s important to recognize that the incipience of symptoms can display at any time, not just directly after facing trauma. Many individuals have described symptoms emerging decades after being exposed to trauma. And while army members are common among PTSD sufferers, women are twice as likely[2] to experience PTSD in comparison to men. This is oftentimes the aftermath of trauma such as domestic violence, rape, or physical abuse.

Although some individuals may be genetically predisposed to post-traumatic stress disorder, it can affect anyone. Moreover, because PTSD has a wide range of symptoms, it’s important to identify that people might only present one of the following signs or all of them.

Each afflicted individual will have a unique experience with PTSD and may show signs of any of the following:

  • Intrusive and unwanted memories
  • Denial and avoidance
  • Negative mood, thoughts, and symptoms of depression
  • Alternation in physical and emotional reactions
  • Emotional distress

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms may fluctuate over time. Nevertheless, seeking treatment can help you acknowledge specific triggers, which can assist in managing the emotions that surface. The same applies when considering how to help someone with PTSD.

How to Diagnose PTSD

Diagnose PTSD
There are several factors involved in diagnosing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some of these include a psychological and physical evaluation and matching the benchmarks established in DSM-5, a standard practice for psychiatric diagnosis. Some of the factors that are established in the DSM-5 incorporate one or more of the following:

  • Firsthand experience of a traumatic incident
  • Observing trauma to others
  • Discovering that a loved one was endangered or affected by a traumatic experience
  • Regular exposure to graphic features of traumatic events. For instance, law enforcement, first responders, soldiers, etc.

Additionally, symptoms of PTSD need to have been ongoing for longer than a month and routinely interfere with the individual’s capacity to cope or perform in regular activities, for a professional diagnosis to be granted.

This methodology of diagnosis can at times complicate people’s ability to seek treatment and help. But, it’s safe to say that as science’s understanding of the brain and trauma evolves so are the once routine standard practices.

Steps You Can Take to Help Someone With PTSD

Help Someone With PTSD
In addition to an individual receiving medication and attending psychotherapy, it’s helpful to have family members or other loved ones within their close circle involved in the recovery process. Friends and relatives should be taught to identify the symptoms of PTSD so they can better understand and react to what is happening. Moreover, they need to comprehend that PTSD is a treatable disorder so that they can offer support by providing reassurance.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for those experiencing PTSD, many treatment methods have been successful in helping individuals live with more infrequent symptoms enabling them to live happier and healthier lives.

1. Manage potential triggers

The best way to manage the potential effect of these triggers is to be conscious of them. Speak to healthcare professionals and the individual experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to learn about their unique circumstances. Without forcing that person into talking, kindly prompt them to discuss with you the potentially triggering conditions, so that you can do what’s possible to circumvent the appearance of these situations. A trigger can present in any form, but generally manifests as:

  • Smell, sound, or sight linked with the trauma
  • Intercommunications with individuals connected to the trauma
  • Forms of media such as TV, music, or films that remind the individual of their pain
  • Notable dates associated with the trauma
  • Societal stresses such as relationships, employment, school, or finances

2. Creating a support network

As with all mental illnesses, one indispensable step to recovery is ensuring that the individual has a strong and compassionate support network. These connections serve as communication points to encourage and support an individual to open up to their loved ones and allow them to better understand their disorder. Put simply, support networks are much more than just safety nets.

A strong support system normally would begin with close friends and relatives who understand the situation well, thus extending to therapists and medical professionals. These support structures have the capacity to help the individual control their stress levels and allow them to live a normal life in spite of their traumatic experiences.

3. Help with finding the right therapist

A truly important, yet often overlooked factor of mental health disorders is finding the right therapist for the individual who is suffering. It’s oftentimes pointless to work with medical professionals who don’t match the patient’s values, or who simply don’t mesh.

When supporting someone who has PTSD, try to make sure that your friend, relative, or partner is able to confide and trust their counselor. And encourage them to find someone they feel can help them learn to cope and manage their disorder.

4. Help them acknowledge and accept their trauma

Often, a key component of dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is to help the individual brave and evaluate their own traumatic experiences. This exercise should be done with the assistance and guidance of a trained therapist and can be an effective process to understand their traumatic event and overcome it.

This method requires empathetic communication, being prepared to listen, and more importantly than anything else is finding a medical professional with whom the individual feels comfortable.

5. Don’t forget about your own self-care

Lastly, if someone you care about is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, make sure that you’re not surrendering your own wellbeing for theirs. PTSD is a condition that’s upsetting from both a first and second-hand viewpoint. Ultimately meaning that triggers can seldom be adopted by a person trying to help. That individual’s trauma can provoke another person’s unique trauma to resurface.

Needless to say, that it’s of utmost importance that before supporting your loved ones, make sure that you’re nourishing and taking care of yourself. Be conscious and prioritize your mental state, and then focus on supporting their recovery.

How To Support Someone Close to You With PTSD

Support Someone Close to You With PTSD
When it comes to supporting someone close to you with PTSD, a good place to start is educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That information will help you better understand what your partner, friend, or relative is experiencing and how the traumatic event is influencing their behavior.

Being able to comprehend the motivations behind the presenting emotional distress, anger, and fear can assist you in becoming more compassionate and sympathetic towards the situation of your loved one.

Moreover, another important factor to comprehend when considering how to help someone with PTSD is becoming aware of their triggers and how best to manage them. Have a conversation with them, and find out what they consider to be their triggers – whether it’s certain people, sounds, aromas, memories, or situations – and what you can do to help if the situation should arise. Discuss an action plan so that you understand what to do and how to support them if and when they get triggered.

At times, individuals suffering from PTSD may not want to talk. And instead, they may prefer to simply sit in silence. But when they do talk, it’s important to make sure that you’re listening and assert what they’re saying. Reassure them where you can, ask them how you can be of help, and what they need to feel supported. Furthermore, if you personally feel that they need more help than what you’re able to offer, it may be wise to prompt them to see a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

Throughout a flashback, individuals often feel a sensation of disassociation, as if they are disconnected from their own body. Undertaking actions to "ground" them in any way will help.

PTSD is divided into four stages: the impact stage, the rescue, the intermediate recovery stage, and the long-term reconstruction stage. The impact stage envelops the initial emotional responses such as fear, guilt, and shock. Whereas post-rescue-stage, the individual commences coming to terms with what's occurred.

Post Traumatic Stress attacks can manifest with physical sensations similar to those of panic attacks. Such as shortness of breath, hot flashes, and heart palpitations. Nevertheless, these attacks are induced by the triggering re-experience of the traumatic incident through thoughts, flashbacks, and dreams.

Supplements that help manage stress can be of great assistance to individuals suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Decreasing stress levels have been shown to reduce instances of PTSD attacks, for example in a 2009 study, researchers found that individuals suffering from PTSD with lowered cortisol levels showed a decrease in symptoms.

Ingredients like ashwagandha and lemon balm can help support the body’s ability to resist the effects of everyday stress. These compounds can be found in a variety of supplements. For instance, Natrol Relaxia Ultimate Calm is a proprietary blend of herbs specially formulated to help individuals feel calm and balanced throughout the day. Relaxia, like other supplements available on the market, is a drug-free way to reduce occasional stress, anxiety, and tension.

Conclusion

It can be especially distressing to live with a nervous system that feels unruly and disobedient. Yet, humans were designed and can withstand incredibly challenging conditions. With the guidance of a qualified practitioner, trauma survivors can reach their underlying restorative powers, and continue with their lives.

Along with treatment protocols, consider encouraging your relative, partner, or friend to become part of a local support group. There are numerous different types of support groups stationed across the United States. If your loved one is comfortable with the situation, you can always opt to attend the support groups with them.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder support groups are a great way to build a strong network and interact with other individuals who also live with this condition. It can be emotionally fulfilling for an individual to feel like they have a safe space to listen and share among people who understand and can empathize with having PTSD.

View More

0 Reviews for Coping Up With PTSD - How to Help Someone with PTSD

Coping Up With PTSD – How to Help Someone with PTSD
Coping Up With PTSD - How to Help Someone with PTSD Reviewer Rating
3.6 / 5.0
Coping Up With PTSD – How to Help Someone with PTSD
Write a Review Please review the Guidelines before posting
X

Hints on how to write a helpful review

A great review should have the following qualities:

  • A helpful review should connect and engage with the readers using personal experience.
  • An excellent review provides the readers with cogent and unbiased information necessary to help them make the best choice.
  • A review must be well-formatted to make reading easier by using multiple paragraphs and avoiding caps.
  • The primary goal of your review must remain to provide accurate and non-salesy information.
  • Above all, let your review be fair and honest.

We have high level of professional editorial section with zero tolerance policy on fake reviews.

To maintain the genuineness of our brand, we ensure all customer reviews submitted to us are verified and confirmed before publishing. Though we might not be a 100% accurate, however, we try our best to ensure being next to best. For a thorough verification of submitted reviews, we spend close to 7 working days before allowing any customer review to be published since we also work on the earliest submissions first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

100 characters remaining.

Your Rating:05

Submitting this review means that you agree to our Review Guidelines, confirming that you are a verified customer who has purchased the product and may have used the merchandise or experienced the service, and providing only a real interaction and experience without ulterior motives or has an affiliate or business with the company in any way. By ticking this box and submitting this review, you also accept that submitting fake reviews is a violation of Health Web Magazine Terms of Use and such conduct will not be tolerated.

5000 characters remaining.

Thanks for submitting your comment!

SUBSCRIBE TO HEALTH WEB MAGAZINE

Get the latest in healthy living, nutrition & fitness, mental wellbeing, beauty & skincare, and more, straight to your inbox!

Loading

Your Privacy is important to us

Medical Disclaimer: The content published on our website, Health Web Magazine, is to inform and educate the reader only and not a substitute for professional medical advice from your doctor or other health care provider. If you have a specific health question or concern you must consult with a qualified medical professional and in the case of an emergency, immediately contact your local emergency services. Health Web Magazine and the publisher of this content take NO responsibility for any detrimental health issues or injuries that result from following advice found in articles, reports/overviews, or other content on our website. All visitors to Health Web Magazine, particularly pregnant and nursing women and individuals taking over-the-counter or prescribed medication, must consult with their physician before starting a new supplement or making any changes to their diet or exercise plan.

All trademarks, registered trademarks and service-marks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners. © 2021. All Rights Reserved. All opinions expressed on this website are the opinion of and were written by Admark LLC, owners/operators of this website. Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these websites published terms of use and all site policies.

X

All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.