When you think of your best friend as part of the family, it is tough to see him suffer from a mental condition as unforgiving as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The person who used to be cheerful has become easily irritated. You need to walk on eggshells whenever talking to him because you have no clue about the topics that might cause his irrational anger to come out. You may not even know how he is doing unless you drop by his place since he has already lost interest in socializing.
Although this kind of pal is quite tempting to leave behind, you should try to lengthen your patience. Your friend needs your assistance now more than ever. It is uncertain whether he knows that or is too shy to tell you about it. However, if you decide to be there during his battle against the symptoms of PTSD, you can do the following to express your support.
Having PTSD practically entails that your friend has lost control over his behavior, thinking pattern, and other aspects of life. If he has always been independent, you can tell how challenging and scary the new situation may be for him. Because of that, as someone deeply invested in his well-being, you should be more considerate of how you act around him.
For example, in case your buddy is not opening up about his traumatic experience, you should avoid asking about it. The fact that he talks about anything but that subject means he is still not ready to handle it. Despite that, you should remind him every time you converse that you are available whenever he feels like discussing his issues.
When chatting with a friend who lives with PTSD, it matters to be aware of every word that comes out of your mouth. Remember that he is in a fragile mental state at the moment. You cannot joke around carelessly and expect him to laugh with you. Likewise, you should avoid dropping sentences like “I understand what you are going through” or “I can imagine how much pain you are dealing with,” especially if you have never experienced post-traumatic stress before. There are better things to say to this person – you merely have to think.
Introduce A Good Counseling Program
Finally, it will not hurt to search for a trustworthy counseling facility for your friend even if he has not agreed to go to one yet. It is common for patients of trauma to refuse to get psychological help when they do not believe that there’s a problem or they do not know the counselor who will administer the treatment. However, once you are confident about the therapeutic program you found, you can talk about its benefits and hopefully encourage your friend to at least go to a consultation.
PTSD is a treacherous disease, in the sense that you cannot instantly tell if someone has it. After all, it is not merely a condition for soldiers who have seen and experienced the terrors of war. Anyone who has dealt with or witnessed a loved one deal with violence can acquire this disorder.
Nevertheless, when you open your heart and mind to friends living with PTSD, you can undoubtedly help them overcome it in time.