Helping someone with C-PTSD isn’t easy for either you or her. The symptoms are so frustrating, & can be embarrassing. Mood swings, extremely high anxiety levels & muddied thinking are not fun to live with or manage, nor are they fun for someone to witness.
If you live with a partner who has C-PTSD, your life isn’t easy either. You are living with someone who just wants to be “normal” but can’t be due to this disorder. You are affected, too, by the awful symptoms. Watching someone you love suffer yet not knowing how to help is a terrible & helpless feeling.
Below are some ways that you can help your loved one who has C-PTSD.
- Research this disorder. Learn all you can about the symptoms & treatments.
- Ask your loved one questions. Just be sensitive in how you ask questions. Avoid sounding judgmental or critical.
- Show her that you are interested. If she complains of nightmares, ask what they were about. If she says she doesn’t feel well, ask why. She needs to know that she can talk to you about her battle with C-PTSD without fear of you judging her.
- Don’t expect her to control symptoms 100% of the time. As much as she may want to, she can’t hide all of her symptoms all of the time.
- Don’t pressure them in the recovery process. There’s no time schedule. And remember, most people with C-PTSD or PTSD never recover, they only learn to manage their symptoms.
- Help her to feel loved, without expecting loving gestures in return. She probably will offer them often, but there are times she won’t feel able to do so. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you- it means she has C-PTSD.
- Try to be helpful & supportive. Do what she asks promptly, & try to anticipate needs. Be observant.
- Offer distractions. Suggest going out to dinner, or going to a movie, or some other activity she enjoys. Focusing on this disorder constantly is simply depressing! Distractions help both of you from becoming too depressed.
- Try not to smother her. Be there, but if she wants to be alone, leave her alone.
- Find support for yourself, too. Talk to a counselor or friend you can confide in.
- Take breaks. You need to take care of yourself so you will stay healthy (physically & emotionally) & so you can be strong for her.