Anyone can suffer from PTSD.  How do you talk to someone who has had a hard time?

Victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often people who have gone through very stressful experiences, such as war or a brutal violent attack. It also affects those who focus intensely on the death of their loved ones. Faced with their feelings, they are unable to deal with relapses of traumatic memories, thus isolating themselves from the environment. How do you help and talk to someone with PTSD? What mistakes should be avoided? Psychologist Camilla Demchuk explains.

Watch the movie: “Nightmares can be a symptom of illness”

The text was created as part of the “Keep healthy!” WP abcZdrowie, where we present Free psychological help for people from Ukraine and we can Quick access to Polish specialists.

1. What is PTSD and who can it affect?

Post-traumatic stress therapy (PTSD) It is found in people who have experienced tremendous stress associated with health and life threatening situations. At a given moment, it may exceed the cognitive abilities of a particular individual. PTSD can also be a result of childhood trauma. PTSD victims may feel hopeless and depressed, BendAnger and guilt.

Currently, people who have fled from The war in UkraineYou may struggle with such a problem. They have seen and experienced war with their own eyes.

2. How do you show support for someone who has been traumatized?

When people with PTSD isolate themselves and people distance themselves, we don’t know what to do or say to help them. However, we must tolerate people’s difficult behavior and not get discouraged. How do you help them deal with it? war shockSo that they can return to normal life?

Refugees from Ukraine may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Refugees from Ukraine may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (Getty Images)

Camila Demchuk, Psychologist He asserts in an interview with WP portal abcZdrowie that people who have experienced a very stressful experience have gone through it Stain feeling safe.

What we can do to help a person is to pay attention to the needs, open up, and try to understand their condition. You must listen carefully and show your understanding. Let’s focus on what a particular person needs at a particular moment – he adds.

The expert explains it People with PTSD experience especially difficult feelings including. Constant feeling of inner tension, fear and anxiety.

Emotions come in waves – they come and go, so they can be accompanied by various reactions, such as sudden crying. It is correct and must be respected. Even if we feel uncomfortable, let these people experience feelings in their own way. Let’s be patient and sensitive to what they need – says Camila Demchuk.

PTSD victims should not be exposed to both occasional stimuli Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (such as images and sounds) and at an additional risk of losing a sense of safety. By supporting them, we must protect them from events that cause suffering and pain.

See also: The health consequences of chronic stress. It affects the brain, intestines and heart the most, but the whole body suffers

3. A conversation with a person suffering from PTSD. How do you approach it?

The current situation is difficult and psychological for both of them Refugees from UkraineAs well as assistants. We often don’t know how to act in a particular situation and how to talk to survivors Post-traumatic stress.

According to Camila Demchuk, the most important thing is to just be and not pressure the person with PTSD to start talking about their traumatic experiences.

– because It is very difficult for these people to talk about what they experiencedSo don’t try to force them out for information. Let them know we are there and ready to listen – without judging or giving advice. Let’s be patient – he explains.

4. What should I say and what words should be avoided during the conversation?

Misused words can cause or aggravate the pain. When talking to people experiencing PTSD, you should focus on listening and be careful with your words when speaking.

– The situation is very sensitive and Not everything that appears supportive at the moment may be perceived in this way by someone with PTSD. Our job is to assure her that she can count on us and that we are willing to listen to her, emphasizes Camila Demchuk.

A therapist advises how to act when talking to people who have experienced trauma:

  • Let’s use phrases like: “I am here”, “When you need something, I am there”, “If you want to talk, I will be happy to hear you”.
  • Let’s not convince them to admit traumatic events, let’s not ask questions.
  • Let’s not interrupt while listening.
  • Let’s not tell anyone that we know what they’re feeling because we don’t know how or what they’re going through.
  • Let’s not encourage you. Let’s not say “everything will be fine” or “it’s time to take control.”.
  • Let’s not underestimate a person’s experiences. Let’s not say that what happened to her is not important, and that she is not the only one who has done the same to others.

withdrawal, angerEmotional numbness is the most common symptom of PTSD. – One should not be personally aware of the symptoms of PTSD. The fact that a person withdraws or is angry does not have to be connected with us – the expert emphasizes.

Camila Demchuk pays special attention to the fact that Supporting people with PTSD is stressful.

Remember to take care of yourself, that is, to be attentive to your needs. He says we give ourselves rest and eat regularly. Thanks to this, we will have the energy and strength to support more of those in need.

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