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Friends, Caregivers of PTSD Trauma Survivors

It’s hard to watch someone you care about go through a tough time. Most people don’t know what to say to even their closest friends after they’ve suffered a tragedy, trauma or death. For friends, caregivers of PTSD trauma survivors, an unconscious pressure can sneak up on you. There’s an overwhelming sense that you don’t know the “right” thing to say, as if such a thing exists…

“Don’t screw it up”

Listen to what we tell ourselves sometimes. Did you know that it’s common for friends and caregivers to beat themselves up for not knowing how to help. In many cases, it’s a lot easier to mess it up than it is to satisfy yourself that you’ve done enough. Here are some tips to help you stay in the solution:

How to help someone after a trauma:Friends, Caregivers of PTSD Trauma Survivors

  1. Don’t do this alone. You have to take care of yourself too or you won’t be able to endure the cost of helping others who are struggling after trauma.
  2. Offer a “ministry of presence.” Just be there. You don’t have to have all the answers; be there for what they need.
  3. If they don’t know what they need, than look after the basic necessities of life for them for a while–and just spend time.
  4. Don’t just disappear.
  5. Gradually push them to get out of the house and get them moving. Isolation and giving up is the enemy.
  6. Involvement in simple chores matters. Some kind of social interaction, if not daily several times per week, is healthy and can help ward off depression.
  7. Lastly, consider joining one of our live teleconferences to find out more about how PTSD Academy courses can help you provide assistance to those suffering from trauma.

Bottom line: There is hope. If you’re frustrated because a trauma survivor doesn’t want help, or won’t try again after a bad experience, direct them to the 9-Line PTSD Test. It can help explain what will help and even provide reasons why they their last therapist didn’t work out. It’s geared to meet them right where they are–right now:

By Doctor Dan

[veteran, physician, psychiatrist]

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