One of the interesting things about PTSD is how many similarities it has to traumatic brain injury. My daughter had a large brain tumor removed last May. She shared this link to Caregiver tips for caregivers of those that are recovering from brain tumor surgery. As I read, I recognized many of the same challenge of those that are caregivers to those with PTSD. Caregivers may be family or friends. If you are fortunate, your family are your friends. http://www.abta.org/brain-tumor-treatment/caregivers/brain-tumor-psychological-symptoms.html
This was in a box at the end of the article. These all work for PTSD too.
There are a variety of ways to help the patient cope with memory loss, mood swings and cognitive changes at home. For example:
- Listen, validate and empathize with the patient (“I can tell you’re really frustrated. This is really difficult for you.”)
- Minimize distractions so the patient can focus on one thing at a time.
- Provide opportunities for the patient to maintain control over choices in daily living, activities and treatment as much as possible.
- Develop and stick to routines.
- Use reminders around the house, like Post-it notes.
- Help the patient write down or record things he/she wants to remember.
- Activities such as reading, writing, drawing, playing an instrument and doing crossword puzzles can help keep the brain active.
I’ve learned to look for coping ideas in many sources such as long term illness survivors, brain injury, military PTSD information, and other sources where people are coping with big problems. I don’t have to look for something geared specifically to PTSD. I look for help where ever it is available, especially on my knees in prayer.