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How To Help Someone With PTSD Choose The Right Treatment Option



With around 13 million Americans dealing with PTSD in 2020, the chances of knowing someone that is dealing with PTSD are high. When you care about someone, it is a good idea to learn how to help your loved one choose the right treatment option.

PTSD is not easy to live with, but remember to never take what your loved one does personally. A person dealing with PTSD doesn’t always have control over their behavior.

Keep reading so that you can help your loved one.

Cognitive Processing Therapy

This type of therapy is where your loved one will talk to a therapist about the traumatic event they are dealing with and how those thoughts have affected their lives. Then they will have to write everything that happened in detail. Going through these steps is going to help your loved one examine what they think about their trauma, and they will learn new ways to live with this trauma.

Be a Good Listener

When your loved one decides to share anything with you, listen without voicing your opinion so that they don’t feel judged by you. There is no need to give them advice; it is best to just listen intently because this alone will be helpful to them.

Sometimes people dealing with PTSD need to talk about their traumatic event, time and time again, because it is part of the healing process for many. Avoid telling your loved one to stop reliving the past and to move on. Instead, you want to offer them the space to speak about the situation as much as they want.


Sometimes what your loved one tells you will be hard to listen to. Even if you don’t like what you hear, respect their reactions and their feelings so that they don’t stop opening up to you. If someone ever feels like the person listening is horrified or judging, they are very unlikely to open up again.

Encourage Rehab

If your loved one is dealing with PTSD because of their job as a first responder, you want to encourage them to attend first responder rehab. Treatment like ttcmendingfences.com/treatment/help-for-our-heroes/first-responder/ is different from more traditional forms of therapy. First responder rehab accounts for the unique circumstances that responders are exposed to.

Because these heroes sometimes have to go into dangerous conditions to save others and are exposed to scary scenarios, they might end up dealing with trauma and mental illness.

Anticipate Triggers

Keep in mind that a trigger can be anything from a situation to a person or even a place. Triggers are not always obvious, so it is important to learn the most common external and internal triggers for PTSD.

Usually, the external triggers can come from nature, the weather, conversations on social media, the news, locations, sounds, family, school, money, hospitals, funerals, anniversaries, etc. Internal triggers are strong emotions, fatigue, hunger, sickness, resentment, feeling trapped, etc.

Talk to your loved one about how they want you to respond when they are dealing with a trigger that causes a panic attack or a flashback. If you both create a plan together, it will help your loved one calm down.

Remember that when your loved one is having a flashback or a panic attack, they might feel disassociation from reality and even from their own body. Help remind them of their surroundings during this situation and encourage them to breathe deeply and slowly. Try your best to avoid any sudden movements and do not touch or put your arms around them without first asking.

Rebuild Trust

When someone is dealing with trauma, the way they see the world is altered. Normally they feel that the world we live in is a dangerous place causing distrust in others. Helping them rebuild trust and feelings of safety will be a huge contribution to their recovery.

Let your loved one know that you are there for them to feel supported and loved. Also, if you live with your loved one, try to give them space for relaxing and resting. You can also speak about the future and make plans with your loved one because it will counteract the feeling that the future is limited.

Take the time to emphasize their strengths. Tell your loved one that you believe they are capable of recovery and point out everything that is positive about themselves and their successes.

Help build up their confidence in themselves because it will lead to them trusting themselves. Instead of doing things for them, allow them to do them for themselves.

Social Support

Even though it is common for people dealing with PTSD to withdraw from their friends and family, it is important for you to provide social support. Having face-to-face support from others is an important part of recovering from PTSD.

Learning how to show your love and support is going to play a major role in your loved one’s healing process. Simply spending quality time with them is going to make a world of difference. Try to do things together that bring them pleasure.


What hobbies do they enjoy? Try to take fitness classes together or go running, walking, rock climbing, or swimming together. These exercises are helpful for anyone dealing with PTSD.

Remember to never pressure your loved one into talking. Speaking about traumatic experiences can oftentimes lead to them feeling worse. Give them the support and space needed to help them feel at ease.

Ready to Help Your Loved One?

Now that you learned our tips on helping someone you know with PTSD, you can help your loved one move on with their life. Remember that while you are helping your relative or friend, you also remember to take care of yourself.

If you allow your loved one’s PTSD to dominate your life while you ignore your own needs, it can leave you dealing with your own trauma symptoms. You have to nurture and take care of yourself in order to have the strength to be there for your loved one.

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