Hope For The Journey

8 Tips For Loved
Ones Of People
With Post
Traumatic Stress

Is your loved one dealing with or showing signs of PTSD? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be very scary for everyone involved. Especially when we don’t know how to help our loved ones feel better. Below you will find some tips that can help you feel less scared.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as a disorder that is developed when someone experiences or witnesses a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Almost everyone will experience some reaction after a trauma. However, people recover from PTSD symptoms at different paces. Sometimes if the traumatic event wasn’t as significant and an individual has the right coping skills, they can overcome the trauma a little bit faster. 


If symptoms seem to continue long term then they might be showing signs of PTSD. Family and friends of an individual with PTSD might feel stressed, pressured, or confused in knowing how to help them. Sometimes just changing some simple behaviors can make a big difference. 

What does PTSD look and feel like?


PTSD can feel like a tornado in a bottle. There are many things that go through a person’s mind and body when they suffer from PTSD. It is hard for those who are triggered to think clearly or even be present. Although, their thoughts and physical sensations might not always be very appropriate to the situation, it is very real for them.

PTSD can have many external and internal symptoms but remember everyone is DIFFERENT. The type of trauma they lived can determine the severity of their PTSD symptoms. So, you can’t predict exactly what PTSD will look like, but you can do things to help your loved one feel safe and loved.

Helping a Loved One with PTSD Tip #1:  Educate Yourself


Learning about PTSD and its symptoms can make life a little easier for your loved one and yourself. Understanding what PTSD symptoms look like internally and externally can help you connect with your loved one. Remember there are treatments and resources available, it’s sometimes just a matter of taking that small step.

Helping a Loved One with PTSD Tip #2:  Listen


Do you often find yourself wanting to fix your loved one’s problems? PTSD is one of those things that can be fixed overnight. So, during this time listening will be one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved one who is struggling with PTSD. It is sometimes more meaningful to listen to someone than to say the “right” thing. 

Helping a Loved One with PTSD Tip #3: Understand Triggers


What are triggers? Triggers can be anything that stresses your loved one. It’s those things that can make them remember the trauma and possibly feel all kinds of stuff. Understanding and knowing what triggers affect your loved one will help you to make them feel safe. The idea is that we avoid those things that cause severe stress.  However, we can’t always avoid all of the stressors. What do you do if you can’t seem to avoid them? Planning how to cope with them when they come up could be a great idea if you know you will be running into these situations. Planning can help reduce some of the anxiety around being triggered for both the individual with PTSD and that are helping them.

Helping a Loved One with PTSD Tip #4: Don’t Take It Personal

Always remember it’s not about you. Although sometimes someone with PTSD might have a reaction towards you, it doesn’t mean it’s about you. Reactions are almost automatic for people with PTSD. Instead of thinking it’s about you, try to think “What can I do right now to help them feel safe and comfortable?”

Helping a Loved One with PTSD Tip #5: Take Care Of Yourself

It’s often hard to take care of yourself when you are taking care of someone else. Especially if the person you are taking care of is not feeling well. However, remember it’s hard to pour from an empty cup. Self-care will be very important for you to provide empathy and support to your loved one.

Helping a Loved One with PTSD Tip #6: “Get Over it”

Healing takes time. Individuals with PTSD can’t just “get over it”. They need proper trauma treatment and support to process and heal. Patience might be one of the most important virtues you will need to have when helping a loved one with PTSD. 

Helping a Loved One with PTSD Tip #7: Don’t Rush Them

Remember the most important thing from someone working through PTSD is not about how fast they are getting better but rather that they get to the finish line and actually do get better. Rushing someone who is healing would be like putting a band-aid on top of a bullet wound. 

Helping a Loved One with PTSD Tip #8: Ask Questions

There are no wrong questions. The more questions you ask the better you will understand what is going on and know how to help. Asking questions will increase your awareness of the topic and allow you to offer better help. Remember you want your loved one to feel safe wherever they are, so knowing what helps them and makes them feel uncomfortable will help you be of better support.

Begin PTSD Treatment in Round Rock, TX or Austin, TX

If you or your loved one are currently working through PTSD and need some support in getting through a difficult time in your life, our team of caring therapists would be honored to support you in learning the skills to help you better cope with the issues you face. You deserve to feel hope again and prioritize yourself. To start therapy with Hope For the Journey, please follow these simple steps:

2. Meet with a caring therapist
3. Start receiving the support you and your teen deserve.

Other Services Offered At Hope For The Journey

PTSD treatment isn’t the only service we offer. Our team is happy to offer a number of services from our Round Rock and Austin therapy offices. Mental health services include therapy for anxiety and depressiondomestic violencesexual assault, and EMDR. Our team also provides support for family members of all ages with counseling for teens and young adultschildren and tweenscouplesmen, and parents/partners. Contact us today to learn more about our team and community involvement!

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