How do we face the unknown? Educate yourself through research (whether personally, or with the help of friends), experts, models of some contrivance or talking with others in the same predicaments.
Those affected with trouble can often be ‘saved’ by people willing to help them research how to even take any action at all.
The Veterans Administration has a very good site on PTSD issues that is easy to comprehend.
Here are a couple of elements that I think are essential, immediate, questions, from the site:
Take a self-screen for PTSD
A screen is a brief set of questions to tell you if it is likely you might have PTSD. Below is the PC-PTSD Screen.
Instructions: In your life, have you ever had any experience that was so frightening, horrible, or upsetting that, in the past month, you:
- Have had nightmares about it or thought about it when you did not want to?
- Tried hard not to think about it or went out of your way to avoid situations that reminded you of it?
- Were constantly on guard, watchful, or easily startled?
- Felt numb or detached from others, activities, or your surroundings?
If you answer “yes” to any three items, you should think about seeing a doctor for an assessment.
Certainly, initial information can go on endlessly, but, I feel this is an essential element, again, from the site:
How can I help?
You may feel helpless, but there are many things you can do. Nobody expects you to have all the answers.
Here are ways you can help:
- Learn as much as you can about PTSD. Knowing how PTSD affects people may help you understand what your family member is going through. The more you know, the better you and your family can handle PTSD.
- Offer to go to doctor visits with your family member. You can help keep track of medicine and therapy, and you can be there for support.
- Tell your loved one you want to listen and that you also understand if he or she doesn’t feel like talking.
- Plan family activities together, like having dinner or going to a movie.
- Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or do some other physical activity together. Exercise is important for health and helps clear your mind.
- Encourage contact with family and close friends. A support system will help your family member get through difficult changes and stressful times.
Your family member may not want your help. If this happens, keep in mind that withdrawal can be a symptom of PTSD. A person who withdraws may not feel like talking, taking part in group activities, or being around other people. Give your loved one space, but tell him or her that you will always be ready to help.