We recently celebrated Veterans Day, and there are no words that do justice for explaining how amazing our veterans are. If one of your loved ones has been in the army, the best thing you can do for them is keep an eye on them to make sure they are not suffering from PTSD. PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is something that a lot of military veterans suffer from.
SIGNS OF PTSD
There are a number of symptoms of PTSD. This includes the following:
- Being emotionally reactive, jumpy, and on guard all of the time. You may notice that your loved one is hyper vigilant, has trouble concentrating, cannot sleep, is reckless, angry, and irritable.
- Negative changes in their moods and thoughts. You may notice that your loved one is less positive than usual. They may have negative thoughts about the world and themselves.
- Extreme avoidance of things that remind them of traumatic events they experienced in the army. If you have noticed that the person has started withdrawing from family and friends, and that they have lost interest in everyday activities, this is a sign that they have PTSD.
- Intrusive and recurrent reminders of traumatic events. The person may suffer from flashbacks, nightmares and distressing thoughts. They may exhibit symptoms such as heart palpitations, uncontrollable shaking, and panic attacks.
HOW TO HELP SOMEONE WITH PTSD
If you think that someone you love has PTSD, it’s important to take the steps to help him or her through it. Here are some suggestions:
- Get them moving. Not only does exercise help to burn off adrenaline, but also exercise helps to improve a person’s mood and released endorphins. This is a great way to help your loved one, as their nervous system will become unstuck. Do exercises with them, from hiking and walks to boxing and basketball, there is bound to be something that you both enjoy.
- Make sure they are taking advantage of all of the benefits available to them. There are a number of benefits that are available for veterans. If your loved one has had a VA claim denied, help them to rectify this. Look online to see if there are any groups for veterans in your local area. Your family member, partner or friend may feel better once they connect with people that have been in the same position as they were.
- Provide social support. This is arguably the most important part of them all. You really need to be careful about how you approach this with your loved one. Firstly, make sure you educate yourself about PTSD, which is of course what this article is all about. You also need to be patient, manage your own stress, and do normal things with your loved ones – not only sports, but also any other hobbies that you both enjoy. Most importantly, don’t put pressure on the person you love into talking. It can be incredibly challenging for someone with PTSD to talk about their traumatic experiences, so you really need to give them time and respect their decisions.