How Does PTSD Impact Loved Ones?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition that affects a number of people across the United States. Those who suffer from PTSD and loved ones around them all go through the effects. What causes PTSD?

Well, when someone endures a traumatic or fearful event. This can be a car accident, witnessing violence or physical or sexual assault. Someone’s trauma can result from the way the body reacts to these events, and can impact a person’s life. This impact makes it difficult to live day-to-day life without interruption. 

Effects of PTSD On the Individual

The effects of PTSD on an individual can be intense. It can make living daily life extremely difficult. Additionally, there can be triggers that can severely impact someone’s ability to go about normal daily functions. Those who suffer with PTSD and loved ones as well can be impacted. When someone has PTSD they may struggle with intimacy.

They may also have trust issues with other people and not feel comfortable in social situations. PTSD can also lead to outbursts of anger and difficulty handling emotions. Other effects of PTSD can include anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The effects these can have on an individual with PTSD can be extremely hard to cope with and manage.

Because PTSD causes impacts in daily life, it also affects their ability to work at their full potential. They may exhibit angry outbursts, or lack of focus. They could seem detached from those around them, or seem stand-offish.

Due to the levels of anxiety a person can experience, PTSD can also affect the ability to even go to work. It can also affect their ability to attend classes, complete assignments, or excel in classes they do attend. The effects that PTSD can have on an individual can be far-reaching.  

Effects of PTSD On Relatives

When someone suffers from PTSD and their loved ones are left coping with the effects that it has on the individual, they can suffer some long-lasting effects. Because PTSD affects a person’s ability to have intimacy within a relationship, the spouse is often left to wonder what they are doing wrong.

Other effects that loved ones experience include a breakdown in communication and stress due to the effects of PTSD on their loved one. They also have arguments and trust issues. When someone suffers from PTSD and their loved ones try their best to help them through it, it may feel like no matter what they do, they aren’t helping their loved one. 

Signs of PTSD

There are signs that someone is struggling with PTSD. Loved ones can look out for them, be supportive, and encourage them to seek professional help. These signs can include:

  • Intrusive memories: This can mean reliving traumatic events (flashbacks), unwanted memories of events, dreams and nightmares, emotional and physical reactions to memories of traumatic events.
  • Avoidance: Meaning the person is avoiding thinking about or talking about traumatic events, or avoiding people and places reminiscent of the events.
  • Changes in mood and thinking: Includes negative thoughts surrounding themself or the world around them, loss of interest, detachment from friends and family, emotional numbness, and hopelessness.
  • Physical and emotional reactions: Easily startled, alcohol or drug abuse, trouble sleeping or concentrating, and feelings of guilt and shame

These are just some signs of PTSD. Loved ones should encourage the individual to seek professional assistance in working through the traumas. It can severely impact their life as well as those around them.

Recognizing Undiagnosed PTSD

Undiagnosed PTSD can be mistaken for other conditions. Recognizing the symptoms in conjunction with potential events that cause PTSD is vital to the individual getting treatment. Receiving prompt and proper treatment is crucial to preventing the psychological effects from worsening as time goes on. 

Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver burnout is when someone acting as a caregiver is emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted or drained. This can occur when there is a physical ailment or a mental health condition, such as PTSD. Caregiver burnout occurs when someone who acts as a caregiver does not receive the proper support they need in this position. This can show up in irritability, tiredness, lack of drive, and resentment.

How Treatment Can Help

Proper care is essential when treating PTSD and loved ones can encourage the individual to seek professional help as they go through the process of healing. Therapies such as DBT, CBT, and ACT are positive ways of treating those with PTSD and their loved ones can rest assured that these are proven routes that show positive progress for those engaging in them. This can reduce how PTSD impacts loved ones with new relational tools.

Get Quality PTSD Treatment

PTSD is a difficult undertaking for all that are involved. From the person suffering with it, to the loved ones around them. The pain someone with PTSD endures on a daily basis can be heartbreaking for their loved one to witness, while the person enduring the pain can feel broken and alone. There is help.

At the Neuroscience Research Institute, we offer compassionate and individualized care for those who come to us. We have professionals to assist and help as healing from PTSD begins. Our team of professionals is standing by to help you begin your journey to healing, call us today.

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