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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a
challenge for you and your family. Your family may find it hard to accept some
of the changes PTSD can bring to your life. By talking and supporting one
another, you and your family will be better prepared for these changes.
Your family is an important part of
your recovery. They can be there to listen and to help you through rough
It's also important that you help your family understand
PTSD. They may not always know how to respond when they see you hurting. They
may feel scared, sad, guilty, or even angry about your condition.
Talking about PTSD can help you and your family cope. Talk about your
symptoms and what triggers them. Discuss different treatments and how they can
help you recover. When you open up, your family can better understand what
you're going through.
can help. This is a type of counseling that involves your whole family. A
therapist can teach you how to work through problems and communicate
kids about PTSD is important. They may not understand why you're feeling bad or
why you get angry sometimes. This can be scary for kids at any age. They also
may blame themselves for things that aren't their fault. Make sure your kids
understand that they aren't to blame for your PTSD.
with your kids about PTSD:
Things that suddenly remind you of your
traumatic event are called triggers. Triggers can bring up stressful feelings
or cause you to have flashbacks, which means you feel like you're reliving the
event all over again.
Trying to avoid triggers is a common
reaction. It's normal to stay away from things that cause you stress. Because
of this, you may feel like you can't do the things you used to enjoy. This may
be hard on you and your family.
Talk with your family about your
triggers. They need to know what causes you stress. By being aware of your
triggers, your family can help you find ways to cope with them.
Some common triggers include:
Big holidays like Christmas
and New Year's can be stressful. The holidays can be a painful reminder of past
times when life seemed better. Big groups of family and friends are often part
of the holidays. This may be stressful because:
Your loved ones also might ask you questions about your
life or about PTSD. You may not feel comfortable answering these questions.
Keep in mind that your family may feel some of the same pressures.
You can cope with holiday stress by:
you are the spouse or family member of someone with PTSD, here are some tips
for helping your loved one during the holidays:
For more information, see the topic
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
January 9, 2013
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Jessica Hamblen, PhD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
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