The role of a veteran’s family and friends is crucial, especially during difficult moments. Naturally, any signs of problems will be first observed by those who are close to the veteran.
If a person you love is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), know that it can be cured, and, with your help, they can reclaim their old life. It has been done many times before, with spouses, partners, family members and friends all contributing to their loved one’s success in overcoming their PTSD-related challenges.
The following are five ways to improve the life of a veteran going through PTSD:
1. Be ready to help your loved one.
First off, be aware that whatever your loved one is dealing with because of PTSD is out of their control. If they’re being difficult, understand them with all your heart and mind. If you must do most of the chores at home, do so. It’s impossible to help an individual with PTSD until you yourself are prepared for it.
2. Know the treatment options.
Counseling and medication are two established approaches for treating PTSD. In recent years, researchers have brought forth new knowledge in the disorder’s causes and potential treatment. The more familiar you are about the subject, the more you can help your loved one’s situation.
3. Encourage your loved one to talk with other veterans in a similar position.
Approach your local VA and ask for support via a Peer Specialist, who can help your loved one through counseling, either individually or with the family, or in group therapy sessions. A Peer Specialist is an individual who has a mental health condition, but has received training and certification to help others struggling with their own mental problems. All you need to do is contact your local VA, and they will offer you options for your consideration.
4. Hire a coach.
Yes, you can bring in a professional coach who can help your loved one through the entire ordeal, and in some cases, this can even be offered for free. It’s not easy to have a family member with the disorder talk about his thoughts and feelings, but this is something an expert will know exactly how to do. Because of their knowledge, training and experience, these coaches are able to create a positive outcome when treating veterans with PTSD.
5. Encourage your loved one to help themselves.
Lastly, encourage the veteran to continue to practice self-care on an everyday basis. For example, you can introduce them to self-help tools for PTSD management, like mobile apps that provide treatment options. Self-care gives people a feeling of being in control, and that is something these veterans need to re-learn slowly but surely.