Some of us are good at wearing a mask – hiding our symptoms of PTSD. If someone close to you has experienced a traumatic event, it can be hard to know how to support them. The symptoms of PTSD can cause problems with trust, closeness, communication, and problem-solving—which may lead to troubled family relationships or friendships.
Here are several ways you can help your loved one, strengthen your relationship, and take care of yourself too.
Take care of your own health.
Continue doing the things you enjoy and find relaxing.
Recognize the effects of PTSD on relationships
Be realistic about how much you can do.
Talk about what you’re going through with your own support network.
Consider seeing a counselor or therapist.
FOR YOUR LOVED ONE
Plan enjoyable activities with friends and family.
Encourage them to get treatment.
Offer to go to the doctor with them.
Make a crisis plan – together.
Check in with them often.
Be a good listener.
Supporting someone with PTSD can take a lot of time and energy—and it can be stressful. It’s common to feel that taking care of yourself is selfish, or that you don’t have time. But taking care of yourself is actually an important part of caring for your loved one. If your needs are met, you’ll be a stronger source of support for them.