PTSD isn’t an isolated issue. It’s not just a mental challenge. It’s also a physically coded response that you have to learn how to manage. When it comes to managing your PTSD, you may think that it’s your burden to carry. That you are the primary person affected by your fight with post-traumatic stress.
While it is true that you are bearing the brunt of many of the problems. Your family and close friends are also affected by your PTSD. Your struggle can have a profound impact on your family, as the emotional toll of PTSD often leads to tensions and misunderstandings.
Fear often becomes a pervasive undercurrent to almost every conversation, affecting both you and your loved ones, creating an atmosphere of emotional strain that can be challenging to navigate, and leaving your family feeling isolated from you and unable to help.
PTSD often causes problems such as:
Flashbacks and Intrusive Memories:
Vivid and distressing memories of the traumatic event, leading to flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
Avoidance of Triggers:
Persistent efforts to avoid anything associated with the traumatic experience, including conversations and reminders.
Heightened alertness, resulting in increased irritability, concentration difficulties, and an exaggerated startle response; hypervigilance for potential threats.
Negative Changes in Mood and Cognition:
Persistent negative emotions, feelings of detachment, diminished interest in activities, and difficulty experiencing positive emotions; memory and concentration issues.
Disrupted sleep patterns, including difficulty falling and staying asleep, as well as nightmares related to the traumatic event.
These symptoms of Post-traumatic stress hurt not only you but your family. Sometimes when you are hurting, your pain keeps your family from being able to be there to support you. It’s hard to be next to someone who could lash out at you (even when you know the reason why). Most of the time, your family will also be hurt by the fact that you are hurting. Part of being a family is sharing emotions and bearing them together.
Here’s the point: PTSD is not something that you can cure on your own. And whether you mean for it to or not, it will affect the people you love. BUT you can choose to help shape the impact it has on your family by seeking help and learning how to manage it.
If you need someone to talk to about your PTSD and you’re looking for a safe place to start talking, come sit by our fireplace. We’re ready to listen and help you rediscover the you you want to be.