close up of therapy for how to help someone with PTSD

How to Help Someone with PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common forms of mental illness in the United States. Promises Behavioral Health is among local trauma and PTSD treatment centers that help families and individuals struggling with PTSD and its many symptoms. PTSD can strike virtually anyone at just about any point in his or her life. About 3.5 percent of all adults in the United States deal with PTSD, and about one in 11 will be diagnosed with it. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from it. That makes PTSD one of the most pervasive mental health disorders – and one of the most manageable. Here is a closer look at how to help someone with PTSD and overcome its sometimes deadly consequences.

How PTSD Happens

The American Psychiatric Association defines PTSD as a psychiatric disorder that occurs in people who have gone through or witnessed traumatic events. It generally arises from experiencing or witnessing a highly traumatic event, and commonly affects military veterans with combat experience. It also afflicts those involved in car accidents, raised in abusive households, or who experience other traumatic events at virtually any age.

People with PTSD often suffer intense episodes with disturbing feelings and thoughts related to a past horrific experience. Flashbacks, nightmares and night terrors are common ways in which PTSD manifests itself in victims. Those episodes can lead to sleepwalking and even violent behavior while asleep. Many with PTSD and who suffer night terrors will wake with injuries or damaged belongings from night terrors. Such side effects make it very difficult for some with PTSD to have lasting relationships. They also make it hard to know how to help someone with PTSD.

Common PTSD Symptoms

People who suffer from PTSD often are misunderstood by others for apparently outlandish behavior. While it affects everyone differently, there are some common symptoms that you can watch for when you want to learn how to help someone with PTSD. Those symptoms include:

  • Aggressive, irritable and angry outbursts.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Easily frightened or startled.
  • Overwhelmed with guilt or shame.

Because PTSD can manifest itself in aggressive and violent behavior, many who suffer from it often frighten others. The intensity of symptoms often varies over time and can get worse, rather than better, if left untreated.

When suffering from PTSD, many will experience disturbing thoughts or emotions more than a month after an event. The problem can affect daily life and make it difficult to adjust and hold jobs. Substance abuse often compounds the problem as victims seek self-medication. Promises Behavioral Health offers a dual diagnosis treatment center when PTSD and substance abuse occurs together. If the person suffering from PTSD is having suicidal thoughts, obtaining help becomes critically important. That is when a close friend, family member, or another close confidant can become an important ally in seeking help.

Treatment Options Exist

Those who suffer from PTSD often benefit from a combination of medication and therapy. Not all medications work the same on everyone, though. And each patient responds differently to therapy. That makes it harder to know best how to help someone with PTSD. Fortunately, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) offers short-term and long-term benefits. And it provides an alternative to long-term medication. CBT also helps patients to gain control of the disturbing thoughts and memories, and lessen their impact. Effective therapy, though, requires a therapist experienced in treating patients with PTSD for the best results.

Learn More About How to Help Someone with PTSD

If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, Promises Behavioral Health is one of the area’s best resources for help. By and large, our friendly and professional staff are experienced in providing help for someone with PTSD and their friends and family. Contact us to understand the underlying causes and how to more effectively deal with the outcomes that often raise havoc in daily lives. You don’t have to let PTSD control your life or that of someone you know. Instead, you can call us and learn more by calling toll-free at 844.875.5609.

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