When I started my blog for PTSD it was one of the few non-military pages. I started it because I wanted to connect with others that understood life at the home front is sometimes more dangerous than the war front. Now more blogs are coming on board to share their experiences and understanding of PTSD and Complex PTSD. I like to share these pages to give you more resources. However, I am one person trying to keep up on a field that is growing exponentially. More blogs, articles and web pages are coming on line to share information, every day. I don’t have time to read every single link to a web site. I do look over the article general, if the information seems legitimate I share, not because I have perfect knowledge that they are the greatest thing since slice bread, but because what works for them may work for you. Each person with PTSD arrived their by their own journey. Over coming PTSD is a personal journey that does not look the same for any two people.
This is a link to a page that talks about ways to help someone one with PTSD. I feel it is worth looking over and drawing some ideas. http://www.ptsduk.org/friends-and-family/helping-someone-with-ptsd/
Remember when you are helping someone with PTSD to take care of yourself. The airline advice to put on your own air mask then help others. Take care of yourself first then help a survivor. Remember they already survived 100% of their bad days.
They first talked about building trust with a person with PTSD….Good luck with that. My excellent counselor found that building trust with me was an uphill battle no matter which way he approached me. After 7 years I realized at some point I trusted him with my life and my secrets but there was no way I was going to verbally say, “I trust you.” The suggestions they share are good starting point.
The cartoon is cute about building a blanket nest. However, no way would I have allowed someone in there with me except maybe a toddler. In my mind toddlers were safe. Sharing a safe space is huge progress for some people. They point out in their list that patience is a needed when helping someone with PTSD.
Like me, they say to encourage a person to get professional counseling preferably with someone experienced in treating a person with PTSD or Complex PTSD. I believe choosing to go to counseling is one of the bravest most difficult choices you can make. After 6 years of counseling, my therapist if I would rather go through counseling or be a pioneer in one of the parties that left late and struggled to survive. I told him I would make it easy, “I would rather have cancer than go through counseling.” Yes, I had cancer first, that was tough; counseling was tougher for me. I admire the brave souls that take on counseling. Cheering for them too.
Helping during a flashback. The examples they give are for mild to moderate attacks. What I call a severe attack is when I am no longer here in this time, my brain and memories catapulted me back to when my abuser was still alive. No one could convince me that he was dead. Instead they reassured me over and over that I would be protected. Shocking to finally come to here and now when seconds before I was re-experiencing some of the worse moments of my life. Calling for help as in 911, in the United States, is needed in some situations. Do not be surprised if the person is exhausted when the memories finally release them.
They also reviewed what to do when the person with PTSD turns violent. I felt on several occasions I was fighting for my life so being reasonable was so not happening. Protect yourself first, again call 911. Tell them over the phone that the person has PTSD, this will alert the team on how to handle the situation.
I am sharing one of their quotes because I believe this is vital to understanding a person with PTSD or ComplexPTSD.
They finish off the page with things not to say to someone with PTSD. This is a tiny list. Every survivor has their own list of don’t say to me. Easy answers, cutesie memes, and pop psychology usually end badly. Patiently get to know me and find out what does help. Thanks to all those that are in relationships and trying to help those with PTSD, thank you. Remember take care of yourself. You can’t pour water from an empty pitcher. Fill yourself to the brim with peace, joy and happiness and allow it to spill over onto others. Thanks