HOW TO GET HELP FOR A VETERAN WITH PTSD
Military personnel and veterans are at high risk of developing symptoms and a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and dealing with a family member or close friend as they work through their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery can be a challenging and sometimes frightening experience. Knowing where to get help at the various stages of the diagnosis and recovery process can dramatically help both the sufferer and family members. PTSD is a serious disorder, if left untreated or undiagnosed can lead to damaged social, family, and personal relationships. If you suspect a loved one is experiencing symptoms of PTSD do not delay in reaching out for support.
Often a veteran coping with PTSD may initially suffer in silence. As a family member or close friend, you may start to notice subtle changes in attitude, appearance, or social interactions (or lack of) without fully understanding what may be going on. In some cases it may be a dramatic episode that provides a trigger for others as to what is really going on with the person. If you feel like a veteran is suffering and in crisis – at risk of hurting themselves or others, a call to
action is required. Options in these circumstances include:
- Call 911 for immediate emergency personnel intervention
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency room
- Call your local Suicide Prevention Line
Find a Therapist
For those looking to confirm a diagnosis of PTSD or support once the diagnosis is made, finding a good therapist for support during the management and recovery process will be essential. Therapist supports are available through both private and public resources. When choosing a therapist ensure you find a provider with experience dealing with individuals who suffer from PTSD and specializes in evidence-based medications and therapies.
The support of a therapist is not only important for the veteran suffering from PTSD, but also for the family of the sufferer. It will be important for family members to tap into resources within the community for support as they are helping a loved one through the diagnosis. PTSD is an illness that can damage the family unit if left unsupported, but with the right supports in place for all members of the family, PTSD can be successfully managed and worked through.
Family Support Programs
Veteran’s medical centers in Los Angeles will be able to support not only the veteran but also the family. Supports and community referrals are tailored to the individual needs of the family unit and the veteran with the PTSD diagnosis. The goal is to assist both the sufferer of PTSD and the family maintain relationships and regain a healthy balance within the family unit as the treatment and recovery process is in motion.
KEY WORDS: Veteran’s medical center Los Angeles