One of the biggest challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder is the toll it can take on your relationships. The team at the office of Dr. James Campbell, LLC has many years of experience working with PTSD patients and their loved ones and is here to offer advice on how to deal with how this condition can affect your relationships. Keep reading to learn three key things that psychologists want you to know about PTSD and relationships.
- PTSD can make people feel emotionally distant or numb. One key thing to know about PTSD and relationships is that this disorder often makes its sufferers feel emotionally distant from others or makes them feel emotionally numb. Many people with PTSD also report loss of interest in social activities or sexual intimacy, which can also put strain on the relationship. Support and therapy can help the patients recover this loss interest and rebuild emotional trust and can help their partners cope with the stress.
- PTSD often makes people irritable. Another challenge of PTSD and relationships is that this disorder often causes people to feel irritable, anxious, or hypervigilant. This makes it difficult for them to relax or enjoy social situations and can cause them to snap at others. If you are suffering from these symptoms, therapy can help you learn to calm these anxieties, and if you are the partner in this situation, therapy can provide a place to process your feelings about the relationship.
- Secondary survivors need support, too. Lastly, if you are living with someone who is suffering from PTSD, you can develop what’s known as secondary or vicarious trauma. Dealing with a loved one’s PTSD can be highly stressful, especially when a relationship that was mutually supportive now has all the support focused in one direction. While you may not be able to rely on your loved one for support because you are dealing with their crisis, you can greatly benefit from seeking support elsewhere, and especially from a professional therapist.