6 Things I Learned from Dating Someone with PTSD
Trauma survivors with PTSD may have trouble with their close family relationships or friendships. The symptoms of PTSD can cause problems with trust. Being the partner of someone who has PTSD can be challenging. For three years, I was in a relationship with a man who experienced PTSD symptoms daily. Like depression or other mental and behavioral issues, it's not. Just be open and choose someone to share your sorrow, your pain, your problems, you reason for depression. It is easy and you can fight against it easily.
Helping someone with PTSD tip 1: In fact, trauma experts believe that face-to-face support from others is the most important factor in PTSD recovery. It can be very difficult for people with PTSD to talk about their traumatic experiences. For some, it can even make them feel worse.
PTSD & Relationships
Comfort for someone with PTSD comes from feeling engaged and accepted by you, not necessarily from talking. Encourage your loved one to participate in rhythmic exercise, seek out friends, and pursue hobbies that bring pleasure. Take a fitness class together, go dancing, or set a regular lunch date with friends and family.
Let your loved one take the lead, rather than telling him or her what to do. Everyone with PTSD is different but most people instinctively know what makes them feel calm and safe. Take cues from your loved one as to how you can best provide support and companionship. Manage your own stress. Recovery is a process that takes time and often involves setbacks.
The important thing is to stay positive and maintain support for your loved one.
Dating Someone with Complex PTSD: Healing and Growing With Your Partner – Bridges to Recovery
Educate yourself about PTSD. Accept and expect mixed feelings. A person with PTSD may need to talk about the traumatic event over and over again. This is part of the healing process, so avoid the temptation to tell your loved one to stop rehashing the past and move on.
If you come across as disapproving or judgmental, they are unlikely to open up to you again. Rebuild trust and safety Trauma alters the way a person sees the world, making it seem like a perpetually dangerous and frightening place.
Express your commitment to the relationship. Structure and predictable schedules can restore a sense of stability and security to people with PTSD, both adults and children. Minimize stress at home. Try to make sure your loved one has space and time for rest and relaxation.
Speak of the future and make plans. This can help counteract the common feeling among people with PTSD that their future is limited. Encourage your loved one to join a support group. Getting involved with others who have gone through similar traumatic experiences can help some people with PTSD feel less damaged and alone. Anticipate and manage triggers A trigger is anything—a person, place, thing, or situation—that reminds your loved one of the trauma and sets off a PTSD symptom, such as a flashback.
- Helping Someone with PTSD
- Dating Someone with Complex PTSD: Healing and Growing With Your Partner
- 6 Things I Learned from Dating Someone with PTSD
Sometimes, triggers are obvious. PTSD sufferers often feel a heightened need to protect things that matter to them, especially their loved ones. This can make them seem angry, demanding, tense, or even frightening to outsiders.
In addition, since anger management and impulse control can be problems for PTSD sufferers, the wrong combination of events can land them in a bad spot. For most people, activities that mean being in a crowd, or traveling in cramped quarters—like on an airplane—may be annoying, but in the end is no big deal.
How PTSD Can Affect Relationships
However, for people with PTSD, these activities can feel problematic, if not impossible. This is often because these kinds of situations make the sufferer feel out of control, or they trigger memories of the trauma. When this happens, the reaction of someone with PTSD can be unpredictable, but extreme anxiety at a minimum is likely.
After surviving a trauma and developing PTSD, a person often has flashbacks or intrusive memories of the trauma. The person experiences the terror and feelings of helplessness all over again. For this reason, a PTSD sufferer will go to great lengths to avoid flashbacks and memories, and practically this can mean avoiding many different situations, including activities that the person used to enjoy.
If the sufferer has difficulty sleeping or experiences nightmares, both the trauma survivor and their partner will have a tough time getting enough rest.
Sleeping in the same bed or room with another person is very difficult for many people with PTSD. Trouble Areas for People with PTSD Because trauma survivors often fight impulsive behavior and intense anger, close relationships can feel like minefields.
Drug and alcohol abuse is another refuge for sufferers.
PTSD and Relationships
Unfortunately, in some relationships, emotional abuse or even physical violence can happen. Remember, if it does, there is never any excuse for violent behavior. That said, PTSD sufferers will probably feel guilty about their loss of control and may accept that they have a problem if they are confronted by friends and family over their behavior.
Get to safety instead. In some situations, survivors might become too dependent upon family members, their partners, their friends, or even therapists or healthcare providers.