Menu Close

How to Support a Loved One with PTSD

holding hands and learning about supporting someone with ptsd

If you have a loved one who lived through a traumatic event, supporting their healing may feel overwhelming. Trauma has wide-ranging effects on everything from interpersonal relationships and sleep to work performance and emotional regulation. The good news is that you’re not alone in this challenging situation. Many others have struggled supporting someone with PTSD, and excellent resources are available.

Reach out to the caring team at NuLife Behavioral Health to talk to someone about our effective PTSD treatment program and how it could help your loved one. We’re available at 888.568.2057 or via online message and look forward to getting you and your loved one exceptional support.

Signs That Your Loved One May Be Living with PTSD

Trauma can come from a wide variety of experiences. Well-known types of traumatic events like sexual assault, involvement in armed conflict, natural disasters, or serious injury are just a few examples. As medical science advances, the definition of trauma continues to broaden. These days, it’s understood that events like bullying, divorce, or violence witnessed directly or via social media can also lead to PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms.

With this in mind, here are a few signs that your loved one might be coping with PTSD and could benefit from a consultation with a medical professional trained in trauma therapy:

  • They are suffering from insomnia or other sleep disturbances such as nightmares
  • Your loved one is struggling with feelings of profound guilt or shame
  • Self-medication with drugs or alcohol is occurring
  • Your loved one is having flashbacks, distressing mental events where they relive a traumatic event over and over again without being able to stop
  • They are very easily frightened or startled and seem to be on guard against a threat that isn’t obviously present
  • Your loved one has trouble concentrating or takes little pleasure in activities that used to bring them joy
  • They are frequently irritable and may be prone to outbursts that aren’t warranted by present circumstances
  • Physical complaints like recurring headaches, nausea, or intestinal pain are common

How to Help Someone Struggling with PTSD

Supporting someone with PTSD can require patience and emotional maturity. Here are a few tips for effectively providing support:

  • Cultivate good listening skills: Your loved one may need to share about their trauma many times. It might be difficult to hear what feels like “the exact same story” over and over, but remember that this is part of their processing. While maintaining healthy boundaries for yourself, try to afford your loved one an open and nonjudgmental space for expressing their thoughts, feelings, and memories.
  • Create a safe and trusting home environment: PTSD only gets worse in a threatening or unpredictable environment. For this reason, it’s key to trauma survivors’ recovery that their home be a safe haven. Strive to keep your promises, reflect your loved one’s strengths back to them, and look for ways to build their confidence and agency. Routines, relaxation, and positive plans can all help as well.
  • Talk about triggers: In the world of PTSD, something as outwardly innocent as a weather phenomenon or a song can trigger a painful flashback. Choose a time when you and your loved one are both calm and ask them to tell you about their unique triggers. What are they? What have they found to be effective and ineffective as coping strategies? Planning for events like flashbacks in advance can make them a lot more manageable.
  • Take care of yourself: If you’re supporting a person with PTSD, burnout and resentment can be very real. To mitigate them, remember to delegate where you can, continue tending to your basic physical needs like sleep and good nutrition, and cultivate your own emotional support system and personal time.

Reach Out to NuLife Recovery Massachusetts for More Information About PTSD Resources Today

You’re not alone in your journey to support a loved one with PTSD. Contact the qualified team at NuLife Behavioral Health for information on our programs in Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, and New Jersey. We’re standing by at 888.568.2057 or via online message and would be honored to tell you more about our range of programs and answer your questions about PTSD support.