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How to Help Someone with PTSD?

Dr. Laura Tanzini

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe mental health condition that usually occurs following a traumatic event. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to help someone with PTSD, since it is hard to understand where they’re coming from because you haven’t experienced their trauma. But there’s still plenty you can do to help a family or friend who has PTSD. Starting with understanding how to identify the symptoms of PTSD, here’s how you can help someone suffering from the condition.

Understand the Symptoms of PTSD

To help someone who has PTSD, it’s crucial to understand the symptoms fully. Typically, people suffering from this condition have a hard time sleeping, have difficulty concentrating, and are easily startled at times. Additionally, they can have random outbursts of emotion and anger, as well as struggle to express emotions. A few physical symptoms which you may notice include nausea, rapid heart and blood pressure, and quick breathing. People with PTSD can also experience hallucinations or flashbacks of their traumatic event.

Offer Social Support

One of the best ways to show support to someone suffering from PTSD is to help them take back their social life. Most people with PTSD avoid surrounding themselves with family and friends, which can severely impact their mental health. Although you want to surround their boundaries, it’s crucial to prevent them from entering isolation. According to experts, sticking close to a loved one with PTSD is an effective treatment towards their recovery.

Anticipate PTSD Triggers

Understanding PTSD symptoms is one thing, but you also have to know how to anticipate triggers and know how to respond in a situation in case your friend or family member has an episode. Triggers are places, people, or things that can take someone back to the trauma they experienced, which typically include confined areas, constraints, funeral homes, crowds, certain words, specific smells, etc.

Stay Calm During Outbursts

People suffering from PTSD are typically between states of physical and emotional stress that can cause them to overact to ordinary situations through outbursts. Although it may be challenging not to take it personally, it’s important to remember the condition they have and what you have to do to help them overcome whatever they’re feeling. Always do your best to diffuse the situation before it gets any worse and help them stay calm. Remind them that you’re there to support them during their outbursts, but always place your safety first. If a situation gets out of control, take yourself out of the environment until they calm down.

Encourage Them to Get Necessary Treatment

Help from a qualified professional is an essential step in a person’s recovery process when suffering from PTSD. However, convincing someone with the condition to get the necessary treatment is more easily said than done. You can persuade them by outlining the benefits of obtaining professional guidance towards recovery and a severe reduction in their anxiety and stressed-based behavior.

Contact Us for PTSD Treatment

There are a few ways you can help someone with PTSD, from understanding their symptoms and triggers to encouraging them to get professional treatment, especially if they are a friend or family member. Hopefully, the recommendations from this guide can help you assist your loved one in enrolling in a local complex PTSD treatment center to build an ideal treatment plan around their anxiety and PTSD condition. To enroll someone with PTSD today, contact Kinder in the Keys, Inc. today at 800-545-4046.


Author Bio

Dr. Laura Tanzini, DrPh, MA, MFT

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a highly educated and accomplished professional with a background in biology and psychology. She received a BS in Biology from UC Riverside, an MA in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, and a Doctorate in Public Health with a specialty in Lifestyle Medicine from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a Board Certified Professional Counselor, Integrative Medicine Clinician, and PTSD Clinician. She has worked in multiple medical hospitals, mental health institutions, and inpatient eating disorder clinics. Also, Dr. Tanzini has written scholarly papers and spoken on various topics related to nutrition, stress, menopause, obesity, depression, anxiety, and human development.