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How to help loved one with PTSD?

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My boyfriend has recently started going to therapy for his PTSD. He returned from Iraq about 16 months ago after spending 10 months there. He was injured and so came home early. When he first got back he was ok, he established routines and spent a lot of time alone with his dog. He and I started seeing each other about 3 months ago and I love him very much and hate to see him upset. He gets very irritable over little things, I want to help him, but I don't know how to approach the situation as this is my first encounter with a loved one who has PTSD. Any advice would be very much appreciated!!
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replied June 15th, 2010
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Hi gottlse,

I think people who have been to war need a lot of time to recover from these experiences. My father and my cousin-in-law have both been to war and, although not diagnosed with PTSD, I think that they are both symptomatic. I think that the best thing that you can do for him is to encourage him in his therapy, and perhaps start seeing a therapist as well. You will need to avoid "rescuing" him, but remain supportive.

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replied June 17th, 2010
What type of therapy is he receiving right now for his PTSD?

PTSD can be dealt with fairly quickly, It's what I do for a living, getting rid of the negative emotions attached to the traumatic memories.

When you experience a traumatic event you are experiencing all kinds of negative emotions. These negative emotions are part of the memory of the event. At a later date that memory gets trigger for what ever reason. What has taken place back in those moments has long since stop. It is now history. It no longer exists. Yet the memory of what took place feels very real and for many when this happens to them it is real! They are re-experiencing all of those trapped negative emotions attached to the memories of what took place. It is these trapped emotions that cause the problems. If you remove the negative emotions from the memories, they no longer have an affect on them. The memories now have no power over their life, so you get their life back.

As for what you can do. Make sure he gets the right kind of treatment to get rid of these negative emotions. Talk therapy is practically useless when it comes to dealing with this.

Understand that when he is being triggered, this is what is happening to him. Pressuring him to talk about it doesn't help that's why talk therapy doesn't work, it doesn’t get rid of these trapped negative emotions. When he's triggered the best thing you can do is back off and let him deal with it. He has to anyway. If he wants to talk, listen.

The only place you may need to apply pressure is to make sure he gets treatment and the right kind of treatment.

Be well,
Larry

"you can't change history, but you can change the future!"
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replied January 16th, 2013
Questions to your comment on PTSD
Larry,

I have two questions for you.

1. Have every served in the Armed Forces, if so were you ever deployed to an actual combat zone? If so do you have PTSD.

2. Do you now or have you ever worked in the medical field? ie; mental health or therapy, social worker, psychology, psychologist?

Pending your answers, I have several questions and comments.


Richard
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replied January 17th, 2013
Hi Richard,

No I haven't served in a actual combat zone. Yes and I deal with clients on a regular basis dealing with trauma, and as hard as it is to believe there are trauma much worse that that experienced in combat. I have and do deal with combat related PTSD.

What else would you like to know?

Be well,
Larry
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replied September 16th, 2010
How do I get my boyfriend to get help 4 possible post war ptsd?
My boyfriend got home from Afghanistan and has been home for 4 months and has recently started showing strong symptoms of ptsd, the strongest being that he's having horrible nightmares (he screams and cries in his sleep but has no recolection of it when he wakes up in the morning)he's admitting to being emotionally numb and can't connect with me and just wants to be alone. Over the past weekend he moved out of our apartment. He moved into his friends townhouse last week (he's also a member but hasn't been to afghanistan yet) except his friend isnt overly social so he's not getting that interaction like before when he lived with me... in the past couple days it's gotten progressivly worse and we now broke up last night because he says that "although he's happy with me, hes so unhappy with life and if hes unhappy with life then he cant make me happy and i deserve to be happy and have someone better than him and that he just wants to be alone, go to work and go straight home and either play video games or sleep but be alone" I love him so much and am so worried about him. Ive asked him to go talk to someone and he says he doesn't think he has a problem, but yet 5 min later he voices how he's so confused and unhappy with every aspect of life and doesnt know why he feels this way. Does anyone have any advice on how I should go about getting him to get the help he so badly needs? Also what help is the best for this type of situation? Would appriciate the advice as I dont wanna lose the man I love and unless he gets help then there's no chance for our relationship since I feel he's just going to keep drifting farther and farther away Sad
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replied September 16th, 2010
Was he like this before he went over there? (I suspect not) If he didn't feel like this before, try to get him to remember what his life was like before going over there. Go through it with him so that it is clear what it use to be like.

Then compare that to how he is feeling right now.
Can he see a diffrence?

Is he happy with the way he is feeling right now?

How he feels right now, is this better than he felt before he went over there?

Can he see that whatever took place over there has caused a change in him. (linking the change to the time spent over there)

Would he like to get rid of what ever took place over there so that he can feel as he did before going over there?

I'm telling you that it is possible to get rid of that baggage. I do it for people all the time. This isn't something you grow out of or just goes away on it's own. Have him contact me and I can explain the whole process to him. I can explain to him what changes have taken place and why.

It's important that he see's that he wasn't like this before and that he can go back to where he was before this change took place.

Be well,
Larry

"you can't change history, but you can change the future!"
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