WHY FAMILY SUPPORT IS IMPORTANT WHEN DEALING WITH PTSD
Military personnel and veterans dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will have a long, and in most cases, a hard struggle as they navigate through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Through all of the assessments, therapies, and medications, family support is often seen as one of the most important aspects of treatment and recovery. If you are a family member supporting a veteran with PTSD here are some insights into why your support is so crucial in the treatment process.
Identification / Assessment
For most, recognizing the signs and symptoms of PTSD is not self-identified. It is often acknowledged through close family and friends noticing a change in the appearance, behaviors, and / or social interactions of a family member. A lack of engagement in normal day to day events or common family get-togethers can be one of the first warning signs that someone may be struggling with PTSD. As a family member, if you notice that your loved one may be displaying signs or symptoms, reaching out for professional care and assessment early can help the individual to receive a diagnosis and start the treatment process.
Access to Services
Although challenging at times, family members may be charged with identifying and accessing appropriate services and resources needed to help a veteran deal with their diagnosis of PTSD. This can include researching treatment options and providers, ensuring the individual accesses and follows through with the care established, and monitoring medication intake day to day. Support offered through the local VA hospital in Los Angeles can be a resource for family members to tap into. Various support programs are offered for both the veteran suffering with PTSD and family members who are supporting these individuals. The types of support programs offered can help to alleviate the pressures imposed on families working through and supporting a person with PTSD.
One of the most important aspect of treatment is family support. Establishing a sense of normalcy can help a veteran suffering from PTSD to effectively cope and manage through the stages of treatment. Often a listening ear, subtle encouragement, and a general understanding expressed to the individual can aid in proactive treatment plans. This does not mean that families need to take on the counselling role – this will lie with the professionals. However, a veteran knowing that family members are open and supportive of the steps within treatment can lessen the social stigmas of the disorder and some of the feelings the sufferer may be initially dealing with.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will affect the whole family. Ensuring all members receive the supports and services needed will be important as you navigate through all stages of the disorder.
KEY WORDS: VA hospital Los Angeles