How to Support a Loved One Through PTSD

How to Support a Loved One Through PTSD

Supporting a loved one through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be challenging, but your care and understanding can make a world of difference. Here, our Palo Alto Mind Body experts talk about how you can help navigate this journey. We also invite you to learn about some of our effective treatment options like psychotherapy and ketamine infusions.

Understanding PTSD

PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms can include flashbacks, severe anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts about the event, and even physical reactions like sweating or heart palpitations. Recognizing these symptoms is the first step in offering meaningful support.

Be there for them

Your presence is incredibly valuable. Sometimes, just listening without judgment is what your loved one needs most. Let them talk about their feelings at their own pace, and be patient with them. Remember, it’s okay if they don’t want to talk about their trauma right away. Respect their boundaries and show them that you’re there for them no matter what.

Encourage professional help

We want you to find comfort in knowing that we have the expertise to treat PTSD, so it’s important to encourage them to seek our professional medical services. 

We offer psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and prolonged exposure therapy (PE), as effective treatment options; in fact, PE is the gold standard treatment for PTSD. Psychotherapy can help your loved one process their trauma and develop coping strategies. Group therapy can also be beneficial, offering a sense of community and shared experiences.

Explore ketamine treatments

Although psychotherapy is a well-established treatment, newer options like IV ketamine infusions are showing promise for individuals with PTSD. Ketamine, traditionally an anesthetic, has been found to have rapid-acting antidepressant effects, which can be particularly useful for those who haven’t responded to other treatments. 

Our team is highly specialized in administering IV ketamine, which may help your loved one experience an improvement within hours after treatment.

Those with PTSD often also suffer with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), or depression that is persistent after traditional treatments such as medications and therapy. The FDA has approved S-ketamine (phoneticized as “esketamine” and marketed under the brand name Spravato) for the treatment of TRD as well as in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) with acute suicidality. The good news is that most insurance companies cover treatment with S-ketamine, and some patients pay as little as $10 per treatment.

Special populations

While PTSD can affect anyone, some people are more prone to developing PTSD than others.  Studies have shown that women may be two-to-three times more likely than men to experience PTSD. Also, people who may be exposed to higher rates of trauma, such as military service members and veterans may be at increased risks of developing PTSD. Our clinic, Palo Alto Mind Body, is contracted with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the VA Healthcare System through the VA Community Care program to provide care directly to veterans in our community at little or no cost to the veteran or their family.

Educate yourself

Knowledge is power. Numerous resources are available online, in books, and through support groups for families of PTSD sufferers to help you understand what your loved one is experiencing.

Create a safe environment

Helping your loved one feel safe and secure is vital. Reduce stressors in their environment where possible, and encourage them to engage in activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies they enjoy.

Be patient and consistent

Recovery from PTSD isn’t a linear process, and it can take time. Be patient and consistent in your support. Celebrate small victories, and be there during setbacks without judgment. Your steady presence can provide a sense of stability that’s incredibly reassuring.

Take care of yourself

Supporting someone with PTSD can be emotionally taxing. Make sure you’re also taking care of your own mental health. Engage in self-care activities; seek support from friends or a therapist; and don’t hesitate to take breaks when needed.

To learn more about how to care for your loved one who suffers from PTSD, feel free to reach out to our team. We’re here to provide whatever support you need. Book a consultation by calling our friendly office staff at 650-681-2900 or clicking here to book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Myths and Facts About Ketamine

Myths and Facts About Ketamine

Have you heard about ketamine but just aren’t sure what to believe? We’re here to dispel the myths and give you the facts, so you can know the truth about what it is and how it works.

Lesser-Known Symptoms of Depression

Depression has its well-known symptoms, such as persistent sadness and feelings of hopelessness. But many don’t pay attention to the underlying signs that can indicate the condition is present. Here, we shed light on other symptoms of depression.

Helping a Loved One with Chronic Pain

Watching your loved one suffer from pain can make you feel helpless when it comes to providing relief for them. You may feel like there’s little you can do to help. Keep reading to learn what you can do to help and support them.
Am I a Candidate for Spravato? 

Am I a Candidate for Spravato? 

Unsuccessful treatments for depression can leave you feeling at a loss. If you’re struggling with depression, Spravato® may be the answer. Let’s find out if it might be right for you.