HOW FAMILIES CAN SUPPORT VETERANS WITH PTSD
Within the past few years, news and the press has highlighted the concern of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among veterans. While the focus of the stories has been on the impact PTSD has on military personnel as individuals, a person with PTSD will in fact affect the whole family and their social community. This impact increases for personnel who have spouses, children, and even work relationships as their ability to cope within these roles is diminished in light of their symptoms. As a result, family of military personnel will often have to source out medical support within California to help deal with and manage the impact of PTSD. Direct links to support groups and veterans associations can be helpful and a good resource for medical referrals. In addition to formal support, families can support veterans on a day to day level by applying the following strategies:
Take the time to learn about the symptoms, behaviors, and actions of individuals living with PTSD. Understanding the underlying cause and effect of PTSD can help a family member to accept and deal with the emotional struggles that are presented. Additionally, providing documentation and information to extended family and friends can also aid in maintaining or mending relationships with others within the veterans support circle.
Encourage Social Activities
Social interactions can be a troublesome experience for a sufferer of PTSD and should not be forced upon a person in the early stages of dealing with PTSD. However, once symptoms start to improve, gradually re-introducing activities or social outings with close family and friends can be an encouraging step in the recovery process. Initial activities should be limited in the length and number of attendees as to not to overwhelm the recovery process. However, re-introducing social interaction can be a positive healing step not only for the PTSD sufferer, but also for family and friends that may have felt impacted or abandoned as a result of the symptoms of PTSD.
Source out Family Support
While the sufferer of PTSD will most likely (or should be) connected within the medical community for support and medications to help deal with the symptoms of PTSD, family affected by their loved ones are sometimes left on their own to deal with and manage their feelings of PTSD. It will be important for family members to also source out counselling support to deal with feelings of anger, abandonment, frustration, and loss. Through counselling support and managing your own feelings, a family member dealing with a PTSD sufferer will be better equipped to work through the relationship and begin to mend the family unit.
The road to recovery when dealing with PTSD will be a long process. But accessing the right services, and taking the time to educate yourself and those within the family unit it a positive approach.
KEY WORDS: family military medical support California