PTSD is a nebulous term that is widely misunderstood, and so the first obstacle many families must overcome is learning what this disorder is all about.
PTSD is a condition that can happen in those who have experienced a sudden loss, a violent assault, natural disaster, military combat, or any particularly intensely negative or shocking experience.
This emotional shock and trauma can later manifest in a variety of ways, including, depression, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, and the inability to trust others. PTSD can follow an individual for the remainder of their lives if left untreated, damaging or destroying any semblance of a normal life.
While there is no cure for PTSD, it can be treated and managed with great success, and the veteran in your life can learn to function through dealing with the event that triggered the disorder. Treatment usually involves psychotherapy—a type of counseling—along with medication, in some cases. Psychotherapy for PTSD can involve a variety of techniques aimed at helping the veteran manage feelings related to the trauma they’ve faced, and at reducing the intensity of their symptoms.
It is vital that the veteran’s home be a safe place for him or her to talk over any symptoms, and, if appropriate, to have counseling gently suggested. If you’re armed with the knowledge of how to spot the symptoms of PTSD, you’ll be better able to help your loved one.