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How To Deal With Persons with PTSD
I am a survivor of an assault incident. I went through an episode of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Three months into my treatment, I was cleared with remarkable results. Now more than a year of having fully recovered, I could already share what I had learned throughout that experience.
To say the least, it was a small roller coaster ride. Getting acquainted with the condition, assessing recovery, living the usual life and assessing the coping behavior of the people around. Remember I mentioned that I owe my recovery to medication, my family support and time away from the stress of life? That is because the people around me was willing to put up with me. Based on my experience, here are things that you should know when dealing with people with PTSD:
1. Don't startle them. Once in while we play a harmless joke on each other. But please when you know someone who had a traumatic incident, even if they have already recovered and you are his friend, never attempt to startle them. It can destroy friendships.
2. There are a lot of things to talk about besides what happened. For God's sake, don't bring up the incident again. For all you know, they are excited to tell you how their day was, or how was their trip over the weekend, or their plans for the following week. Gosh!
3. Keep their caffeine and insomia-enducing food at low intake. If you want to catch up with them over a cup of coffee, this time, stay away from coffee. If not opt for a caffeine-free beverage. One thing that should not be disrupted in the persons recovery is his trouble sleeping. Needless to say that even if the person has no PTSD, sleep deprivation already causes anxiety. We need not aggravate the situation.
4. No baby talking. What I mean is, no affording special treatment. Act the way you were with them. They are also trying to get back to their lives as normal as possible.
5. When your treatment is under a psychiatrist, refer to your psychiatrist as therapist. This is to dispel the notion that persons with PTSD are crazy individuals. This is also to cushion his stigma knowing that he is under his treatment. (I wish I had done this earlier in my hubs.).
The road to recovery for persons with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not a lone journey. You have a part in his recovery. Note that it is not a one time effort. In some cases you have to go along the journey. To understand more about your part in his recovery, read Stages and Manifestations of Recovery in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).