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Caring for a loved one with PTSD can be stressful. It is important that caregivers have basic information about PTSD. Simply knowing the symptoms of PTSD and where they come from can help caregivers gain a better understanding of their loved one's diagnosis and behavior.
Mental health professionals recognize the stress that comes with caring for a loved one with PTSD. Caregivers may also benefit from attending individual therapy or support groups in order to receive support and learn how to cope better with their loved one's PTSD. Couples counseling may also be useful.
REMEMBER TO BREATHE
Caregivers may feel guilty if they take time for themselves or feel stressed as a result of caring for someone, especially when a loved one is struggling with a serious diagnosis like PTSD. However, it is important for caregivers to realize that they also need time to "recharge their batteries." Living with and caring for someone with PTSD is stressful in its own right. The more a caregiver can learn how to care for themselves, the better they will be able to care for others.
Sources: Calhoun, P.S.,Beckham, J.C., & Bosworth, H.B. (2002). Caregiver burden and psychological distress in partners of veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 15, 205-212.