Someone you know has PTSD. Or perhaps you suspect they have PTSD.
There are no quick answers. Choosing to be around someone with PTSD there are some important points to keep in mind. PTSD symptoms become ‘catchy’. Their hyper-vigilance becomes your hyper-vigilance. Their bad nights become your bad nights. Awareness and knowledge help lessen effects of PTSD.
Second Hand Trauma is debated, some people say it happens others deny that it does. Watching those close to me, especially my children, I see the affects of living with my PTSD.
Set boundaries. That’s right, it is important to set healthy boundaries. One of the challenges of PTSD is to learn or relearn appropriate boundaries. One of the best ways to learn this is from someone else close to them. I believe that people sometimes in their desire to help, keep their boundaries too lax. True, you need to stay flexible for emergencies, but every day is not an emergency.
Take care of yourself. I know to some people this sounds selfish. Consider the instructions given on every flight, put the air mask on yourself then help someone else. If you deprive yourself care, you won’t have the strength and resources to help others.
Take breaks. Give yourself needed breaks, vacations, and Rest & Relaxation. Yes, the person with PTSD will feel peevish and jealous because they don’t get breaks, however, friends and family members need breaks to recharge their own mental and spiritual batteries.
Study and learn about PTSD. Explore the resource page or do a internet search on PTSD. There is a lot of information. There are webpages for supporting those touched by PTSD; sometimes it is comforting to know you are not alone. What you are experiencing is not unique. Suggestions from others that are trying to cope with second level PTSD.
Something to consider is family counseling or your own separate counseling for keeping mentally healthy.