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How can I help somebody with PTSD? Best Tips

PTSD is a mental health condition that appears as a result of exposure to traumatic events. Usually, PTSD symptoms start to appear a few weeks after someone has gone through these types of events. There are some cases when it can take up to several years for signs to appear.

Often, people associate PTSD as being a result of experiences that link to war or combat trauma. Still, PTSD can happen because of many other reasons like injuries, sexual or mental abuse or assaults. This doesn’t mean each person that goes through trauma will develop PTSD.

If someone you know and care about has this type of mental health disorder, you might have several questions on how you can start helping them. Learning how you can help can be a challenge, but there are multiple ways you can start supporting people that you know who have PTSD.

Recognize the Signs

The first step is knowing how to recognize the signs of PTSD, especially when you believe one of your friends could have this disorder. Symptoms can be different from person to person but the most common are:

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Anger outbursts

  • Feeling disconnected from other people

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Always feeling unsafe

  • Suicidal thoughts


Helping someone with PTSD is not going to be easy. It is a serious disorder that people experience and it will be overwhelming at times. You can start taking positive steps by showing them that you really want to help and you care for their wellbeing. Here is what you can do:

  1. Study PTSD

If you have a close friend that’s dealing with PTSD, you can start by learning more about the condition. Go beyond symptoms and find out how it makes people feel and the emotional experience that is part of PTSD.

By learning more about it, you are going to understand it better and be more empathetic.

  1. Show Support

People with PTSD have more chances of experiencing social isolation. Because of anxiety or fear of judgment, they feel the need to hide from friends and family.Preventing this isolation is important because when it happens, the symptoms often get worse.

  1. Show patience

If you push someone to talk about it when they’re not ready, you risk rejection. Everyone with PTSD has to feel comfortable when they share their experiences. It has to happen at their own pace so don’t add more pressure.

  1. Truly listen

Let them know you are there to listen whenever they are ready they are ready to talk. You should have a clear understanding of how to be an active listener whenever they are comfortable and reach out for help.

  1. Have respect

When you are helping, treat your friend with respect. Avoid making fun or putting too much pressure on them. Choose your words wisely because it’s very easy to hurt someone suffering from PTSD.

  1. Find out their trigger points

A trigger is usually linked to any action that brings any kind of negative emotion.. Everyone has their own trigger and it is specific to the experience they’ve gone through.

In conclusion, knowing how to help a friend who is suffering from PTSD might feel overwhelming. Use the tips above to start but don’t rush the process. There is no fast solution but if you pay attention to their emotions, they’ll be able to trust when they need you the most.

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Bev Moore is an entrepreneur, marketer, and writer. She offers in-depth guides that share her personal experiences that teach ways to manage, grow, and inspire others for a better future.

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