World PTSD Awareness Day; How Can I Help?

Living with Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be overwhelming for both the individuals experiencing the traumatic episodes, their family, acquaintances, friends and loved ones. Timely diagnosis and management is advisable for relieving symptoms and the recovery process.

Love, support and understanding is necessary for reporting, seeking professional help, diagnosis and management of people with PTSD.

Ways we can help:

  • Educating ourselves on PTSD
  • Noticing the symptoms
  • Listening and understanding .
  • Encouraging them to seek professional help.
  • Support and be patient with them through the recovery process.
  • Not neglecting our mental health; managing our stress.

PTSD symptoms include:

  • Re-experiencing; This can come in the form of panic attacks or episodes of discomfort and restlessness.

  • Avoidance: The person would rather take the longer route home than the shorter route which is the place where the event occurred.

  • Numbing: An optimistic or opinionated person suddenly becomes withdrawn to situations.

  • Hyper-reactivity: Unexpected anger flares, the person will be seen to overreact to situations that serve as a trigger.

What to do after noticing symptoms:

  • Be patient with them.
  • Listen while they talk and understand.
  • Do not blame the survivor.
  • Offer support/volunteer to help in any way you can.
  • Practice the highest form of confidentiality with what you were told.
  • Encourage them to seek professional help.
  • Reassure them, and remember to be kind.

“Always remember, if you have been diagnosed with PTSD, it is not a sign of weakness; rather it is a proof of your strength, because you have survived!”- Michael Templet.

By Abanobi Nkachukwu .N