How To Deal With The Effects Of PTSD On Family

Mental Disorders / Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Having a family member with PTSD can be a traumatic experience for everyone, including the children. The stress and pressure that they feel are never-ending, for some, it even gets worse over time. In this article, we are going to discuss the effects of PTSD on family members and how one’s declining mental health changes the harmony inside a home. If you need any help, read at how to cope and manage despite the traumatic events that this has brought you and your loved ones.


Understanding PTSD

PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that happens to people who have been through traumatic events. It directly targets the person’s ability to live their life to the fullest as flashbacks from the previous event occur frequently. The disorder causes an individual’s mental health to decline which leads to the continued suffering of the family members.

signs of PTSDPeople with PTSD live their everyday lives battling the frightening thoughts in their head that come up whenever a trigger reminds them of the event that caused their trauma. Because of this, their mood changes in an instant. They could feel sadness, anger, fear, and may even distance themselves from their family and friends.

As much as possible, they want to stay away from the things that will remind them of the traumatic event they had gone through. Hence, causing them to avoid gatherings and conversations with people.


How It Affect Family Members

Generally, living with someone with PTSD makes life a bit harder than it already is. The effects are numerous and the unpleasant behavior just makes you want to give up on them. It could be quite challenging to be with someone who is constantly scared, anxious, and afraid. You will also have a hard time at night when they are having nightmares. In addition to this, they wouldn’t want to join in family gatherings, leaving you so frustrated because all you want is to spend time with them.

Children can be affected as well most especially if the person with PTSD is their parent. The situation has a huge impact on kids’ mental health that they might bring until they grow up. Moreover, for younger children, there is a tendency for them to copy and re-enact their parent’s behavior. This is a concerning matter which needs to be addressed immediately.

Common Reaction Of Family Members

When someone is diagnosed with PTSD, the family members often have different reactions toward it. Oftentimes, their reaction includes the following:

  • Sympathy. The pain and trauma that they have experienced could be so frightening that they end up with the disorder. Just thinking about how they survive the event could leave members of the family feeling sorry for the person.
  • Negative emotions. People with PTSD usually act differently than they used to. This makes it hard for the family members to stay patient and understanding. The best thing to do is to keep yourself informed about PTSD and know that you are not alone in this journey.
  • Avoidance. One of the many things that people with PTSD do is avoid the places or situations that could trigger their fear and anxiety. As a result, you are also trying to do the same as a way of support. But if this happens too often, you might feel left out as you can no longer do the things you usually enjoy. Be sure to look after your mental health as well and seek professional help.
  • Depression. It’s not uncommon for family members to feel depressed while looking after a person with PTSD. The disorder caused them to behave and act in the most unlikable way and this might leave you frustrated. When the situation gets worse or if the treatments seem to not work on them, the feeling of hopelessness and despair might hit you.
  • Guilt. This is normally how a family member feels if they are responsible for the person with PTSD, such as parents who weren’t able to protect their child from the traumatic experience.
  • Anger. Anger could also arise next to impatience especially if the person cannot function properly like they used to. With PTSD, it will be hard for them to keep a job, maintain a healthy relationship, and even perform simple tasks like before. This causes the family member to get angry as they do not understand how PTSD works.


Coping With PTSD As A Family

To effectively survive the impacts of PTSD on the family, great efforts are needed. This means that everyone in the household needs to help the person with PTSD get over their fears. Here are the things that you can do to cope with PTSD:

  • Study the disorder. Gain knowledge about how PTSD affects an individual. This will help you understand and help them more.happy family in sofa
  • Accompany them to their visits to the doctor. Doing so will encourage them to work on the disorder thoroughly since they know that they have a support system.
  • Let them talk when they are ready. Do not force conversations if they don’t want to.
  • Plan some fun activities to do. Make sure to do something that they actually enjoy.
  • Encourage them to exercise. One of the best ways to combat fear and anxiety is through physical activities. It distracts them from ugly thoughts plus keeps them fit and healthy.
  • Let the whole family stay involved. A person with PTSD would constantly feel unsafe and insecure. It will be easier for them to move on from their bad experience if the whole family is willing to take their part in making their lives better.

With love, care, support, and understanding from family members, people with PTSD will recover quickly and efficiently.

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