Do you know someone who struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and don’t know how to help them? Have you thought about what our mental health picture will look like once we have gotten through the COVID-19 pandemic? What about the war-worn healthcare professionals who are on the frontlines of the battle against the coronavirus? And, what about families whose lives have been taxed with caring for loved ones who may have contracted the coronavirus, some of whom died as a result of the pandemic?
If so, here are seven useful tips to help individuals cope in these kinds of situations.
1. Learn as much as you can.
There are many books and resources that will educate you on how to deal with PTSD and other mental health issues. Share this information with the person who is struggling.
2. Be understanding and patient toward the person who is struggling.
Dealing with PTSD, depression and anxiety can be difficult for the person, so do not add more problems than what is already there. Do not make things more challenging by getting into arguments with someone who is suffering. Yelling will only make things worse.
3. Talk to the person instead of talking at them.
It is important not to lecture the person who is struggling with PTSD. Talk to the person about their issues without being rude. Most people will listen if you approach them in a proper manner. It is also important to listen to what the other person has to say so you get an idea of where that person is coming from.
4. Find out the reasons why the person won’t get help.
Some PTSD sufferers may not want to get help for various reasons. If this happens, find out the reasons why that person is resistant to talking to a counselor. Addressing a person’s issues and fears of getting assistance will go a long way in helping that person.
5. Getting help is not a sign of weakness.
Some people may think that getting assistance is a sign of weakness. In this case, remind your loved ones that they are not asking for help, but instead, they are learning how to overcome their PTSD. Everybody learns new things on a daily basis. Remind the person who is struggling that there is nothing wrong with learning something new.
6. Find a local PTSD group.
It is important that the person who is struggling join a local support group so they can get advice from others. Many people who are struggling with PTSD will be better able to relate to those who may have similar experiences and insights.
7. Dealing with the bad dreams.
Many people dealing with PTSD may have nightmares regarding their past traumatic experiences. It is not easy to stop the nightmares, but you can start to reduce the frequency of these dreams by talking to a mental health counselor on a regular basis.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods.” For information, visit managingfear.com.