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Tips for Helping a Veteran with PTSD

The role of a veteran’s family and friends is crucial, especially during difficult moments. Usually, people who are close to the veteran will be the first to notice if there are any problems.

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.

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. 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. You can never help someone with PTSD unless you are ready.

2. Know the treatment options.

There are two types of PTSD treatment that have been proven effective – counseling and medication. In recent years, researchers have brought forth new knowledge in the disorder’s causes and potential treatment. 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.

Approach your local VA and ask for support via a Peer Specialist, who can help your loved one through counseling, either individually or with the family, or in group therapy sessions. A Peer Specialist is a person with a mental health condition and has been trained and certified to help other mentally challenged individuals. All you have to do is get in touch with your local VA and you will be provided options that you can consider.

4. Hire a coach.

Yes, you can bring in a professional coach who can help your loved one through the entire ordeal, and in some cases, this can even be offered for free. It’s not easy to have a family member with the disorder talk about his thoughts and feelings, but this is something an expert will know exactly how to do. Such coaches are knowledgeable, trained and experienced, so they can usually elicit positive responses from veterans with the disorder.

5. Create an environment conducive for self-help.

Finally, try to encourage your loved one to maintain a few general self-care practices in their day-to-day routine. 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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