How to live or communicate with a person with PTSD
A kind gesture has the potential to reach a wound that only compassion can heal, and the same applies to how we treat PTSD patients. Empathy is critical to help them overcome their situation. Living and communicating with those with PTSD requires us to be more cautious about our words and empathetic. Below is a list of what not to say to people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder;
- It is time you let go of the past and move forward with your life
This statement blames the victim since implies that the person with PTSD is wishing to remain in emotional turmoil and stuck. We must not forget that there is no time limit to healing. For more details you can read those essays on ptsd.
- Doesn’t PTSD only happen to war veterans?
The moment someone comes out and reveals that they are experiencing PTSD symptoms, high chances are that they are telling the truth. They understand their pain and experiences, and it is not up to us to decide if they are suffering or not or if they had a traumatic experience.
- It can only get better from now on.
This is not true. As much as this sounds like an encouraging statement, it is not always the truth. Recovering from PTSD can take years. There are so many behavioral, emotional, psychological, and physical effects which manifest from trauma which all need to be worked through to aid to one’s healing.
- Can’t you talk to someone about that?
People living with PTSD can definitely talk to someone about their condition, but it is important to remember that not every person can access an adequate PTSD support, mental health professional or even online PTSD support groups. Although someone has a good therapist or social support, this does not automatically mean that the symptoms and all the issues disappear.
Instead of using the above-listed words, communication can engage statements such as; I am here for you, I believe you, what never happened to you was not your fault, you are a good person, you are not alone regardless of the many times you feel alone, and such positive messages. It is therefore vital to ensure that we communicate with empathy to people with PTSD to help them recover.
How to help him overcome the illness
There are many steps and actions we can take to improve our beloved ones overcome PTSD illness, some of which are discussed below;
- Maintaining a Dialogue
It is vital to keep the communication open. People with PTSD might feel embarrassed asking for help. It is up to us to take the initiative by asking them how you in the inclusion of other team members can help them.
It is vital to use empathetic listening and paying close attention to details of what they say. When they are reluctant to talk, do not force them, but wait for them to open up. Do not interrupt them when they start talking. Be patient, remembering that giving people an opportunity to talk about their concerns can turn out to be therapeutic in itself. If one is more comfortable communicating in writing, converse with them using the email.
- Offer Training for the Team
It is essential to raise awareness of PTSD and its symptoms within your team; this is likely to inspire members to find new methods to work with anyone with the condition. People living with PTSD may be more sensitive and patient to colleagues’ needs once they understand what they might be going through. Offering training as part of the human resources program is more comprehensive to avoid singling out of people with PTSD.
- Meeting their needs
If they have difficulty concentrating, offer them a quiet part of the office with few distractions, or offer noise-canceling headphones. In the case of poor memory, create a projects list, providing written instructions on performing each task. Set up an electronic reminder or a calendar which reminds them of approaching deadlines.
With issues to do with project and time management, restructure or break down the tasks into smaller and more manageable steps with goals. To help them deal with stress, try removing any triggers around the workplace which might cause other reactions and flashbacks. Also, allow them to take breaks from work. Giving them positive reinforcement and constructive feedback will help them feel engaged.
Helping them deal with anxiety for instance in the event someone with PTSD is startled by people around them, move their desk of office to a place they can see people approaching them.
Regarding lateness and absenteeism, provide a flexible work schedule. Encourage patients to avoid heated up conversations to deal well with colleagues, as well as speak out once things are calm; this helps improve understanding and relationships within the team.
Summarily, following the advice given above, positive results are possible for the close persons around us with PTSD.