Supporting Those with PTSD

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As someone who has lived most of her life with PTSD, Siobhan discussed the ways in which a person can best support a close friend or family member with PTSD.

  • Patience When interacting with someone who has PTSD, remember to be patient. Try and imagine what it would be like to experience PTSD. Specifically, consider the vulnerability of experiencing an “attack” and the jarring effects following that attack. How would you want to be treated by those around you?
  • Love & Compassion Find compassionate ways to demonstrate love towards those with PTSD, whether that be hugging the person or sitting with him or her for support.
  • Support, Not Critique Supporting someone with PTSD does not mean curing, advising, or critiquing that individual during or after an attack. Telling someone, especially in a vulnerable state, what to do or how to act will often aggravate. While advice may come from the best of intentions, try instead to remind them they are unconditionally loved and matter.
  • Foresight When someone close to you is not experiencing a PTSD “attack,” discuss the triggers of their PTSD. What triggers an attack? How can my actions steer clear of these triggers? By understanding triggers and accelerators, which are unique to each person, you can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

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