When a person experiences life threatening events like combat, natural disaster or car accident, they might develop a mental health problem known as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
After traumatic events, it’s perfectly normal to have disturbing memories, trouble sleeping or to feel on edge for a time. When several months go by and a person doesn’t begin to feel better, they be suffering from PTSD. Family life is changed when a loved one struggles with PTSD. It can leave you feeling helpless to assist them.
People who serve our country in military combat can sometimes come home and struggle with PTSD, particularly when they have been injured. The Paralyzed Veterans of America or PVA helps our wounded heroes who suffer from PTSD through advocacy, research and support. A veterans of America car donation is a great way to extend support to the PVA in helping our veterans.
If you have a family member affected by PTSD, here are 5 steps that can help:
Often people with PTSD will withdraw from family and friends. Many trauma experts believe that receiving face to face support from others is the key factor in recovering from PTSD. Yes, respect their boundaries, but also offer your comfort and support in person.
1. Do not pressure to talk
Talking about their traumatic experiences can be very difficult for your loved one. They may feel more comfort from you by feeling accepted and engaged than by talking. If they want to talk then let them, but do not pressure them to do so.
2. Do things they enjoy
Engage in normal activities with your loved one. Encourage them to pursue a hobby, take a class together, or have a lunch date with friends. Participating in rhythmic exercise or going dancing can help the body feel better.
3. Manage your own stress
If you are relaxed, calm and focused, you will be able to help your loved one more effectively.
4. Be patient
Sometimes there are setbacks. Recovery is a process that will take time. Stay positive and supportive for your loved one. Educate yourself on PTSD so you the symptoms, effects and options for being treated. It’s good to know what to expect from treatment and to keep things in perspective.
5. Be good at listening
While you don’t want to pressure them to talk, if they do choose to share, aim to listen without judgement or expectations. Don’t worry about giving advice, just listen and show you care. Some things they share might be hard to hear, yet it’s vital that you respect their reactions and feelings. If you show disapproval or judgment, they will not likely open up to you again.
Trauma can alter the way a person sees the world making them feel like it’s a perpetually scary and dangerous place. It takes time to rebuild that trust in themselves and others for someone struggling with PTSD. Your commitment to caring and supporting them can help tremendously. But be sure to also take time to nurture and care for yourself
You can help care for a wounded soldier who is struggling when you donate a car for veterans through Donate-a-Car. Your old car, truck, motorcycle or boat can help give hope to a vet who is trying to rebuild his or her life. Call today at 1-800-237-5714 and your vehicle will be towed at not cost to you and the proceeds will help the Paralyzed Veterans of America in their important work.