Individuals who have a history of trauma might experience difficulty with communicating, expressing their emotions, and forming trust in relationships. These traumatic experiences can affect every area of someone’s life.
Many will eventually be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As their partner, you may feel helpless over what to do. Despite these feelings, there are various ways you can work with your partner to help them manage symptoms of PTSD and build a healthier relationship.
At Chateau Recovery, we provide the support you need to navigate this process.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a disorder that develops in individuals who have gone through a “shocking, scary, or dangerous event.” The way individuals respond to trauma is natural. As the NIMH states, “fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it.” This is called the fight-or-flight response.
When it comes to their natural trauma response, individuals begin to heal as time goes on. Individuals who continue to struggle with the trauma are sometimes diagnosed with PTSD. Situations involving PTSD are more severe. Symptoms present themselves expectedly, disrupting clients’ lives.
Causes of PTSD vary. It is very common amongst soldiers and veterans due to the high-stress situations they experience during war. People also develop PTSD from other experiences, such as the death of a loved one. For a diagnosis, symptoms must last more than a month and significantly interfere with a person's life. That includes affecting their personal relationships, ability to function on an everyday basis, and work performance.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must experience at least one re-experiencing symptom, one avoidance symptom, at least two arousal and reactivity symptoms, and two cognition and mood symptoms for more than one month. Hopefully, individuals can find comfort in knowing that treatment for PTSD is possible.
There are many possible treatments for PTSD. The most common treatment methods include medication and psychotherapy. Your partner may need to try different treatment methods to find the one that works best for them. To control symptoms of PTSD, antidepressants or other medications may be prescribed by their doctor. Other medications may prove useful, and it is something your partner should discuss with their medical professionals further.
Although, medication simply helps to manage the symptoms. The bulk of treatment will come during therapy. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, consists of one-on-one, or group, therapy sessions where they will discuss their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with a mental health professional. One of the most common forms of psychotherapy they may experience is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), but exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring have also been shown to help treat PTSD.
Chateau Recovery offers many trauma and PTSD treatment services at our Utah facility – services to help both you and your loved ones. Some of the PTSD treatments you may expect from Chateau include:
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming (EDMR) is one of the leading therapies for trauma and PTSD, EDMR focuses to eliminate the memory of traumatic experiences. Through back-and-forth movements and sound patterns together with a traumatic memory, it aims to modify clients’ perception, transforming the trauma into an average memory that no longer disrupts their life.
Brainspotting is a psychotherapy technique that combines brain function to ease adverse reactions to a person's traumatic memories.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) aims to reduce the effects of traumatic stressors. This method utilizes different therapeutic modalities such as EDMR, CBT, and brief psychodynamic therapy (BPT) to change how stress-inducing images are stored in the brain, which in turn affects the impact of physical and emotional effects these stress-inducing images have on clients.
Neurofeedback therapies are a form of biofeedback that focuses on training the brain to self-regulate and improve function. Mental and substance use disorders affect the brain's ability to regulate itself. This therapeutic method allows clients to be conscious of and track their brainwaves, which retrains the brain to regulate itself.
There are many ways to effectively treat trauma and PTSD. Chateau’s combination of evidence-based modalities and holistic treatment has proven to be effective in treating clients with PTSD and other co-occurring disorders.
How You Can Help Your Partner Through PTSD
Watching a partner suffer from trauma and PTSD is heart-wrenching. The first thing you can do to help your partner with PTSD is to seek out resources and guides that can help you understand PTSD better. Once you have educated yourself, you can begin helping your partner with PTSD by:
Provide them with a support system of friends, family, and loved ones.
Listen and be patient with whatever complex feelings they may be experiencing, especially when what they are saying is hard to hear.
Join them in their treatment journey. That means educating yourself on their triggers and how you can help them work through any triggers they may face.
Ask your partner what you can do to help their treatment. All the education in the world may not completely prepare you because everyone’s struggle with PTSD is different. Learn about your partner's individual struggles and how you can help them through them.
Lastly, make sure you take care of yourself. Helping someone conquer their mental illness can be very difficult. You can not expect to help your partner with their PTSD if you are not taking care of your well-being.
At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do to help your partner. This is why facilities like Chateau Recovery exist. We can offer you and your partner the support you need for handling PTSD. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and find a better way to live.