25. Reducing Your Significant Other's PTSD
Reducing your significant other's PTSD is often overlooked. . There are many ways to describe the stress and emotional pain that people go through being a caretaker. Physicians call it the caretakers' syndrome, although it is not a medical disorder. It has other names like post-traumatic stress disorder, caretakers stress disorder, and even caretaker martyrs disorder, a rather morbid rendition.
No matter what you call it, you must recognize when your amputation has caused such distress in your significant other that they are overwhelmed by their feelings. You know that you need to do something like reducing your significant other's PTSD.The medical explanation is that an increased stress hormone level causes it for an extended time. Caretakers also suffer the grief of seeing the person they love fighting to regain their strength. Caretakers feel their lives have been respected by the emotional and physical struggles you face as an amputee.
PTSD Symptoms to Look For
Anxiety, fear, and guilt may be common emotions shared by all caregivers. However, caregivers first notice their PTSD when they feel theIr feelings start to overwhelm them. Caretakers who have PTSD often experience flashbacks. It might be a flashback of their loved one returning from a tour missing an appendage as a veteran. More commonly, if the amputation results from an auto accident, the crash memories are overwhelming for the care attendant care as they are for the Amputee.
Caregivers experiencing PTSD might find themselves becoming less interested in spending time with friends and family. Guilt, fear, anxiety, and stress lead caregivers with PTSD to want to be alone. Caregivers get overwhelmed when they feel they have less control over their lives as they continue to be there for you. Caregivers who have PTSD experience an increase in aches and pains. Headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue, or just a few somatic results of curative PTSD. Reducing your significant other's PTSD becomes an important focus.
Disrupted sleeping is the first symptom caregivers first notice their PTSD. Nightmares turn into night terrors. They wake up in a cold sweat and are on high alert for the rest of the night. Caregivers may not have the traumatic event that typically initiates PTSD. Prolonged caregiving is like a slow boil not felt till it is overwhelming. Because of the intensity, it leads to exhaustion.
Reducing Your Significant Other's PTSD
If your significant other shows some signs of PTSD, you must take the situation seriously. Reducing your significant other's PTSD is essential to maintain a healthy relationship. It would be best to control your behavior and attitude to reduce the stress on your significant other. It is crucial to educate yourself about PTSD. So much has been written about the symptoms, how to help and what does not work. You'll have a better idea of what you can do to reduce the ways you contribute to their plate. Learning about PTSD can help you be more understanding and clear up misconceptions you might have. The symptoms and effects of PTSD can be more subtle and less overt but no less difficult for the person experiencing it. When someone has PTSD, they are more likely to experience social isolation. Social anxiety or fear of other's judgments are two reasons why they avoid friends and family.
Learning how to support someone with PTSD can help prevent the sense of isolation, which often worsens symptoms. Provide PTSD support through listening and showing that you care. Trying to pressure the person into sharing with you when they don't want to will increase the animosity between you. Instead, practice being a steady, reliable, and trustworthy presence in their lives.
If your significant other shows any of these symptoms of PTSD or is worried about them, you need to encourage sharing those feelings with you or a professional therapist. You must not pass judgment on them or try to make them go away. Instead, you need to see if you somehow are adding to the stress. The intensity of their expression may startle you.
When someone has PTSD, talking about it can be difficult. It can worsen their symptoms, and it can make them relive the trauma. It is better to be there listening and not making judgments to allow them to decide whether or not they wish to share with you some of the feelings that have been bothering them. Everyone with PTSD needs to feel comfortable sharing their experiences in their own time and at their own pace. Don't rush reducing your significant other's PTSD.
Listening is critical for social support. While you should not push someone into talking, let them know you're there to listen when they're ready to speak. Practicing active listening shows you were engaged but don't try to compare your feelings or experiences with those of your significant other. Even if you've experienced PTSD, you don't have to say you understand because maybe you don't know their exact experiences. Listening is enough.
It is often challenging for people with PTSD to open up because they fear judgment. They might worry about what people will think of them. They may be concerned that if they show some of their hardship, they will no longer be able to take care of you.
It is essential to learn about their triggers. The trigger can be anything that spurs a fear response in someone with PTSD. It can be something that, to you, is being very ordinary, but it reminds a person with PTSD of their past trauma. Everyone's triggers are unique and specific to their experience. Talk to your significant other about what causes PTSD symptoms for them. Specifically, PTSD triggers can be sounds, smells, and situations.
It is beyond your control to make some and seek treatment. However, if your significant other is ready or is considering therapy, you can be encouraging. Research some of the treatment available options for PTSD. Look for treatment providers and programs designed to help people with this painful disorder.