Helping families to understand what it's like for a person living with anxiety and stress is just as important as helping the person suffering.
In my personal opinion, the best thing family members can do to be there for someone suffering from post-traumatic stress is to do your level best to understand that it's never personal, even though it does hurt and can feel very personal. It's equally important to learn as much as you can about the process that PTSD takes and learn to recognize the signs, symptoms, behaviors, and triggers along with your loved one. When someone you love suffers from PTSD, they can often feel very distant. As if they are standing right in front of you, but you can't reach them. It's easy to fall into thinking they don't love you anymore or maybe that they don't need you like they used to, but it's important to know that even though they may not be able to express it in the way that they used to..........they need you more than ever and they know that your love is the most important thing that brought them home again. It's what they held onto while deployed or on the job in a dangerous situation. It's what they thought about right before their trauma, it's what they thought they might lose forever. Now that they are home, they often don't understand why they push away the very thing that kept them alive and pushing forward. It can be one of the most confusing parts of having PTSD. Why when you waited for so long to have your loved ones in your arms again, do you push them away and want to be alone? I can't say I have a complete answer for that, but what I can tell you, is that having PTSD means you have to find your way back home to yourself, inside of yourself. I said many posts ago, that you must reclaim the land within your own soul. You've been covered over by the dust of war, dangerous jobs, car accidents that started on a normal day like any other, and a myriad of traumas that came home with you and are now somehow part of you. If you read in the brain science section of my website, I share articles about how the brain can change. It can support the creation of new neural pathways with consistent practice.
Here is an interesting article that can help families/friends to understand a little about stress and anxiety.
*Image: Google Images