What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a type of anxiety disorder that develops after a person experiences a very upsetting, stressful, or distressing event. When the person finds themselves in similar situations again or is somehow reminded of their trauma, they experience very distressing symptoms that can impact their quality of life. According to PTSD UK, nearly 70% of those suffering from PTSD are not getting professional help. It is important that if you think you or someone you know may be facing PTSD, that you are aware of the signs and how to best get help. Continue reading to find out about these things, as well as how the disorder can impact your role as a carer!
Common Symptoms of PTSD
- Increased arousal/anxiety
- Avoiding situations or events
- Re-experiencing the traumatic event (flashbacks, nightmares, etc.)
- Feeling numb or empty
- Increased irritability
- Repetitive or distressing thoughts
- Physical sensations (excessive sweating, trembling, feeling sick, etc)
- For more detailed information on PTSD symptoms, click here.
Common Causes of PTSD
- War or conflict
- Abuse (physical, emotional, etc.)
- Severe neglect
- Serious health issues
- Physical or sexual assault
How can PTSD affect you as a carer?
It’s no secret that caring can be difficult at times. Caring when PTSD is also a factor can be even more difficult to handle. If the person you care for has the disorder, you may find it difficult to understand why certain things can be triggering or upsetting to the person you care for. While some symptoms, such as extreme irritability or having flashbacks, can be more obviously identifiable, some, such as nightmares and repetitive thoughts are not. It is important to understand that everyone’s experience with PTSD is different. Making an effort to understand the person you care for, their symptoms, and usual triggers can be helpful to provide the best care that you possibly can. This will make both your caring role and the person you care for feel much more at ease!
If you as a carer are the one experiencing PTSD, your caring role also can be much more difficult. Those with the disorder often cannot control when and where things will be triggering. This can be difficult when you are responsible for caring for another person. You may feel as though you are unable to do some of the things you need to because of your PTSD. You might also find yourself feeling more stressed or overwhelmed because of this. Having an understanding of PTSD and what the disorder looks like for you can be extremely helpful. Making an effort in this way will help you to find better ways to manage your symptoms and feel calmer overall, ultimately allowing you to care for your loved one as best as you can! It is important to understand, though, that whether you or the person you care for has PTSD that professional help can be very impactful. Continue reading to find out how to get the support that you need!
Need more support?
If you or the person that you are caring for has PTSD and you feel you may need a little bit of extra support, Suffolk Carers Matter would be happy to help! We offer free support, advice, and guidance and even have a free counselling service available should you need it!
CALL us on 01284 333035 – open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2pm.
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Click here to REGISTER with Suffolk Carers Matter.
EMAIL us via our contact form here and we will get back to you.