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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. In most cases, those who are close to the veteran will be the first to see if something is wrong.

If a person you love is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), know that it can be cured, and, with your help, they can reclaim their old life. 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.

First and foremost, make sure you know that no matter how hard the situation may seem, your loved one has no choice. If they’re being difficult, understand them with all your heart and mind. If you must do most of the chores at home, do so. Unless you can rise above the situation, you can never help a person with PTSD.

2. Know what treatment options are available.

There are two types of PTSD treatment that have been proven effective – counseling and medication. In recent years, researchers have deepened their understanding of why PTSD occurs and what can be done 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 an individual who has a mental health condition, but has received training and certification to help others struggling with their own mental problems. Just connect with your local VA and they will help you explore options and resources.

4. Hire a professional coach.

Yes, you can work with a professional coach for your loved one with PTSD, and you can even have it for free. It’s often difficult for family members to get a person with the disorder to talk, but a professional will know exactly what to do to gain the veteran’s trust and confidence. Because of their knowledge, training and experience, these coaches are able to create a positive outcome when treating veterans with PTSD.

5. Encourage self-help.

Finally, encourage your loved one with PTSD to try to maintain a level of self-care with their daily life. For instance, you can acquaint them with PTSD self-help tools, like mobile apps that teach how to handle symptoms. Self-care reinforces feelings of being in control, which is very important for any veteran on the road to full healing.

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