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Living With A PTSD Spouse

Updated on July 11, 2012
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Do you have a spouse, family member or close friend who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder? There are no real sure fire answers to healing of this mental and social illness, but there are ways to ease the stress in both their lives and yours. From my personal experiences, allow me to share with you ways to live with a PTSD spouse!

If you care for a PTSD individual, then first and foremost, learn what PTSD is about. Understanding what this illness is gives you a platform to stand on as you begin to understand how to cope. This illness was first known since the turn of the century from returning soldiers of war. It was often called “soldiers heart” or “combat fatigue”. In today’s society, we find this disorder in many faucets of human life. Some are victims of brutal crime, including rape or superior‘s abuse, and our soldiers, who repeatedly experiences traumatic events such as combat.

One of the best things you can give to a PTSD spouse or love one, is you ear. Be a good listener, when they are ready to talk. Never push the issue or force the conversation, but when the stress spills out, just simply listen with empathy. This is very critical when it comes to living with a PTSD spouse.

Learn what the stressor signs are for you partner and try to alleviate those components in your lives. Keep in a positive mood and encourage your spouse’s self esteem. Try not to argue over these stressor, but recognize them so you can be prepared for their reactions. Sometimes it is necessary to remove you and your partner from the stressor, such as big crowds or agitating people. Above all, don’t be ashamed for their behavior! Remember this is an disorder that can not always be controlled.

Allow a space in your home that belongs to the love one with PTSD. This space will give him somewhere to go when he needs to be alone with his own thoughts. Sometimes with PTSD, it is dealing with the turmoil on one’s own accord that is helpful. Often these people need to be alone to pull themselves out of the depression that this disorder can dump them in. They may wish to be alone because they do not trust their own reaction and wish to hurt no one. Respect this alone time and trust them that all will be okay, given time.

Exercise with you partner. Health is an important key to keeping the mind functioning correctly. Remaining active on a regular basis can also decrease depression. It is important that you take care of yourself both physically and mental in order for you to give the care needed for your PTSD spouse. Never feel guilty for taking time to yourself!

The milder cases of PTSD are reversible, but the severe cases tend to last a life time. Counseling is always a good choice, but you may find your spouse will not like the atmosphere of talking to a third party. Make sure of your love one’s comfort in sharing his experience. As a caregiver, there are many vehicles in which you can seek counseling and are encourage to do so. It can be very stressful to deal with a family member with PTSD and any outside support is highly recommended.

Remember to educate yourself of this disorder, and respond to your spouse with love and patience and trust. Begin your education with ptsdinfo.org. Listen and talk with respect to your love one and be sure to keep your health up to par! You will soon notice a nice difference with these simple lessons learned of living with a PTSD spouse.

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      deann 5 years ago

      Perfectly said lady, from one who knows...

    • backporchstories profile image
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      backporchstories 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Thank you for saying that!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this personal and human side of PTSD. I salute you and your spouse for is service to our country.