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Tips for Helping a Veteran with PTSD

Family members and friends have a big role to play in helping a veteran get back to normal life. Naturally, any signs of problems will be first observed by those who are close to the veteran.

If you love someone who is going through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), know that they can be treated for this condition and that you can help them get through it. In many cases, this has been achieved with the help of the veterans’ spouses, partners, friends and family members.

The following are five ways to improve the life of a veteran going through PTSD:

1. Be ready to provide help.

The first realistic thing you can do to help a loved one with PTSD is to know that what they’re dealing with is beyond them. So if you feel like they’re being so touchy or volatile, just understand where they’re coming from and don’t make it worse. If you have to do more things around the house, just do them anyway. It’s impossible to help an individual with PTSD until you yourself are prepared for it.

2. Know the treatment options.

The top two proven methods of treating PTSD are counseling and medication. More recently, researchers have significantly increased understanding of the causes of the disorder, as well as how to treat it. The more you know about the subject, the more you can help your loved one.

3. Encourage your loved one to open up to other veterans with PTSD.

Your local VA can assign a Peer Specialist to counsel your loved one individually, with the family, or in a group therapy with other veterans who also have PTSD. A Peer Specialist is a person with a mental health condition and has been trained and certified to help other mentally challenged individuals. Just connect with your local VA and they will help you explore options and resources.

4. Hire a coach.

Yes, it’s possible to have a professional coach help your loved one through his PTSD battles, and some coaches will even do it for free. Getting a person with PTSD to speak about what they’re going through is usually hard for family members, but professionals will know exactly how to go about it. 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.

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