DEALING WITH POST TRAUMATIC STREES DISORDER (PSTD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition brought on by experiencing or witnessing severe trauma or a life threatening event.
The symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, sleeplessness, anger, irritability and depression and if you are a caregiver for someone with this disorder, it can be a very difficult experience. Here are a few things you can do to help you cope with caring for someone with PTSD.
Learn about the disease. If you can recognize the symptoms and understand why they are behaving in a particular way, you may feel less frustrated by the behavior.
Learn what makes the symptoms worse and try to help the person you care for avoid those triggers. Some common triggers include loud noises, crowds and traumatic anniversary dates.
Get your loved ones into treatment. PTSD doesn’t go away by itself. Early counseling is the best. Don’t wait until symptoms escalate to unmanageable proportions. Seek out a counselor with experience treating PTSD. Help them find support groups with other people who suffer from the same condition.
Combat the tendency toward isolation by keeping the rest of the family involved.
Learn how to help manage anger with techniques such as journaling exercise, time-outs. If anger turns to violence call 911. After the episode, talk with the person you care for about how the anger affects you.
Be aware of suicide talk and alcohol and drug use. Take it seriously.
Find support for yourself and take care of your health. Caregiving for a person with PTSD can be especially difficult both physically and emotionally. It’s important for you to get right, exercise, find relaxation, schedule regular doctor visits and seek out a caregiver support group.
This information was provided by Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut.