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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a disorder characterized by failure to recover after experiencing/witnessing a terrifying event. It could last months or even years, with triggers that could bring back memories of the incident.


1. Nightmares/flashbacks

2. Avoidance of things relating to the incident (triggers)

3. Anxiety/depression

4. Agitation/irritation/hostility

5. Hypervigilance

6. Self-destructive behaviour

7. Social isolation

8. Insomnia

9. Disinterest/guilt/loneliness

10. Emotional detachment


Includes therapy and medication to help suppress the symptoms.

How To Help Someone With PTSD

1. Provide Emotional Support: People suffering from PTSD tend to be socially distant as they consider themselves to be burdens to others, or perhaps feel like they cannot be understood. It is up to us to show them that they are loved, but do so without suffocating them.

2. Don't Pressure Them Into Talking: Most won't want to talk about their experiences. We are not to force them to talk about the incident. Rather, we are to let them know we are always there to listen, should they need someone to confine in. Most times, people just need to feel loved to be healed, not talking.

3. Do Normal Things With Them: Due to their isolation and detachment, getting them to do normal things is important for healing. Things like walking, running, getting new hobbies or even hanging out with family and friends is important.

4. Let Them Take The Lead: Yes, you want to help, but you cannot force a person to do what they don't want to do. Let the m take the lead and just provide emotional and moral support.

5. Be Patient: Healing takes time so you need to be patient and maintain a positive attitude.

6. Educate Yourself About PTSD: The more you know about the stress disorder, the more you can help out or understand them better.

7. Be A Good Listener: Some may talk about their incident over and over, and rather then tell them to just 'suck it up and move on', you should be willing to listen to them we many times as necessary without coming off as horrified or judgemental as this could make them stop talking to you.

8. Emphasize on Their Strengths: this is to make them feel stronger and capable of overcoming their PTSD.

9. Identify and Learn to Deal With Triggers: For example, in the case of flashbacks, remind them that they're safe now and the event isn't reoccurring. Encourage them to take slow and steady breaths to reduce hyperventilating.

10: Try to Remain Calm: Especially when they're having an emotional outburst. This is to silently communicate to them that they're safe.

11. Ask them how you can help.

12. Avoid suddenly grabbing the person as this might make them feel threatened

13. Watch your language when encouraging them to seek help. Avoid words like 'crazy' and emphasize on the benefits instead.

Things You Should Not Do

1. Don't give unsolicited advice or tell them what they 'should' do.

2. Don't stop them from talking about their feelings/fears

3. Don't downplay their traumatic experience

4. Dont make them feel weak because they're not coping as others are

5. Don't tell them they're lucky they didn't get it worse.

6. Don't take over with your own personal experiences/feelings

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