When someone you love has served their time in the military, it can be the greatest of honor to know them. However, what if you noticed a difference in your loved one once they returned? They seem to be disconnected or detached. You notice that they drift away from socializing and seem to be more comfortable alone. You also might begin to notice that they begin to pick up addictive behaviors (alcohol, marijuana, etc.). Perhaps they explode in bouts of anger, or maybe they are just not engaged with much of anything. You try to reach out but often the response is always the same: “I’m fine.” A PTSD intervention may be what you need to save your loved one.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
There are two different types of PTSD: Chronic (which is a constant state of the disorder) and Acute (which is a short-term/temporary state of the disorder). PTSD is caused by many different triggers. These triggers can range from a dangerous/traumatic event to an unexpected death of a loved one. Even though PTSD is ranged on a wide spectrum, the symptoms are similar across the board. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), “symptoms may not appear until several months or even years later [following a traumatic event].” A majority of these symptoms can be grouped into three categories:
- Re-experiencing symptoms:
- Bad dreams
- Frightening thoughts
These types of symptoms will most likely cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. These symptoms can be caused by a variety of triggers that remind the person of the traumatic event and are sometimes also paired with constant sweating and heavy breathing. (A person’s thoughts/feelings, certain words, objects, or situations can all be considered triggers).
- Avoidance symptoms:
- Staying away from specific places/events/objects
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Feeling strong guilt/depression/worry
- Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
- Having trouble remembering the dangerous event
Avoidance symptoms are triggered by things that remind a person of the traumatic event. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine.
- Hyperarousal symptoms:
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge”
- Having difficulty sleeping and/or angry outbursts
Unlike the other two symptoms, hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. Also, these symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
PTSD Intervention Services Video by our Founder
In the following video, our founder, David Lee, speaks as a keynote at the 2013 Foundations Freedom and Recovery on the topic of PTSD. David Lee discusses how PTSD personally affected his life, the life of his father, and other men who served as combat infantryman in the Vietnam war.
Dealing with someone who may be struggling with PTSD can be agonizing for someone who cares. Attempts to reach out, to reach them are often replaced with frustration, fear, and hopelessness. A PTSD intervention may be what can help to bridge the silent gap between you and someone you care about to engage in the therapeutic process and begin to heal.
In many cases, someone suffering from PTSD can be in complete denial that they have it. In others, the awareness might be there, but the person looks at reaching for help as a weakness. If you have someone in your life who is struggling with PTSD but is unable or unwilling to reach out for help, please contact us about a PTSD intervention.