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Helping a Loved One with PTSD

Help with PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that arises from unresolved issues associated with past trauma. While it’s often linked to veterans, the reality is that any individual who has experienced intense or prolonged trauma may develop PTSD.

This mental health disorder has been widely portrayed in media as vivid flashbacks to traumatic incidents, triggered by related sensory cues. However, many PTSD symptoms are more nuanced, yet just as impactful on individuals dealing with the condition.

PTSD Awareness Month

June has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month by the National Center for PTSD, emphasizing the important message that “PTSD Treatment Works.” The organizers aim to educate both military and civilian individuals impacted by PTSD about the effective treatments available.

It’s estimated that of the 12 million people in the U.S experiencing PTSD symptoms, only a small portion have sought treatment. This year’s objective is to amplify the message that recovery is possible and help is readily accessible.

Recognizing the Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD symptoms range from overt to subtle, falling into four broad categories. Individuals with PTSD might not exhibit all of these symptoms, but most persistently experience at least 2 of these:

Intrusive Memories

These often-discussed symptoms include frequent, uncontrollable memories of the traumatic event, causing the individual to re-experience the trauma. They may manifest as flashbacks, dreams, or nightmares, and can be triggered by reminders of the traumatic event, often resulting in heightened stress responses.

Avoidance Behaviors

People living with PTSD may adopt avoidance behaviors, either consciously or subconsciously. These include avoiding thoughts or discussions about the event, people associated with it, or places and activities reminiscent of the trauma.

Negativity and Dismay

After experiencing trauma, individuals with PTSD may develop a darker outlook on life. This negativity can manifest as depression, a lack of hope, feeling detached from loved ones, difficulty feeling or responding to positive emotions, or a pervasive emotional numbness.

Heightened Reactions

Despite potential emotional numbness, those living with PTSD may have heightened reactions to physical and emotional stimuli. This might include being easily startled, engaging in high-risk behavior, trouble sleeping, irritability, difficulty focusing, and intense feelings of guilt or shame. Usually there is an evident disproportionate response to seemingly normal stimuli.

Why Won’t my Loved One Get Help for PTSD?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that about 50% of individuals with PTSD do not seek treatment. There are several reasons why individuals with PTSD may not seek treatment, including:

Stigma: Mental health disorders like PTSD still carry a social stigma that can discourage individuals from seeking help. They might fear discrimination or misunderstanding from their family, friends, or employers.

Lack of Awareness: Some people may not realize they have PTSD or understand the symptoms. They might think their feelings are normal reactions to trauma, and not recognize that they’re struggling with a treatable mental health disorder.

Access to Care: The availability of mental health services may be limited depending on the individual’s location, insurance status, and financial resources. Some might not be able to afford therapy or don’t have transportation to get to appointments.

Avoidance Behavior: A characteristic symptom of PTSD is avoidance behavior, which can extend to avoiding seeking help or treatment.

Feelings of Hopelessness: Individuals with PTSD may believe that their situation is hopeless and that treatment won’t help, especially if they’ve been dealing with symptoms for a long time.

Self-Medication: Some people with PTSD may turn to alcohol or drugs to manage their symptoms, making them less likely to seek formal treatment as a means to keep abusing substances.

These barriers are significant, but they can be overcome. Improving access to mental health services, and ensuring that these services are evidence based and patient-centered, can help. Interventions by loved ones, like those guided by Intervention on Call, can assist families in getting their loved ones to seek the help they need.

What Can Intervention On Call Do?

Intervention On Call is designed to help you start a roadmap for your loved one to get help. Many don’t know where to start and spend months waiting for appointments. You can immediately set up an online appointment with our team of experts who will guide you through the initial steps you need to take. We offer comprehensive solutions that respect the dignity of your loved one while promoting a safe and supportive path towards healing.

Our specialists understand the complexities of mental health and addiction, and they are ready to provide the immediate support, long-term solutions, and compassionate advice necessary for successful recovery. Remember, wherever there is life, there is hope. Reach out to Intervention on Call, appointments are available as soon as today.

Make an Appointment

Each appointment is priced at a flat rate of $150/hour. To get started, all you need to do is complete the accelerated registration process on our secure telehealth platform. In just five minutes, you can access real-time solutions from credentialed interventionists—no more endless searches, racing thoughts, or sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do. We’re here for you.

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