What You Need to Know About PTSD and Relationships

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PTSD takes a serious toll on the people who suffer from it, and it can also affect their relationships. Dr. James Campbell has extensive experience in helping clients who suffer from PTSD, and the care he offers includes support designed to help the person and their loved ones deal with the ways the disorder can impact their relationships.

What You Need to Know About PTSD and Relationships

This article focuses on PTSD and relationships. It provides some essential information you should know about PTSD and relationships, including how PTSD affects ties to family, romantic partners, and friends. If you are looking for help in managing this aspect of PTSD, turn to the office of Dr. James Campbell, LLC to get a free consultation.

  • Individuals with PTSD have difficulty trusting others. – One of the challenging aspects of PTSD and relationships is the way the disorder makes it difficult for the person to let their guard down and trust others. Trust is important for healthy personal relationships, so if someone has trouble trusting their loved ones, it can be difficult to sustain the bond. If you are in a relationship with someone suffering from PTSD, try not to take it personally, and encourage your loved one to seek professional support to work on this issue.
  • People with PTSD often withdraw to avoid triggers. – If someone you love is suffering from PTSD, they might start to avoid spending time with you or their other friends and family. Often, the person does this to spare others from having to deal with their symptoms, which can be intense and can make the person unpleasant to be around. For example, PTSD often causes significant mood swings, which can be exhausting for both the person and those around them to deal with. In addition, those with PTSD might start to avoid situations or places where they are likely to be exposed to trauma triggers. For example, many veterans dislike Fourth of July fireworks because the sounds are similar to those found in a war zone. While avoidance may bring relief in the short term, in the long term it takes a toll on relationships, so it’s best to work with a psychologist to learn healthy ways to manage trauma responses rather than avoid triggers forever.
  • PTSD causes hypervigilance. – Lastly, you should know PTSD causes a symptom known as hypervigilance, which is a fancy way of saying the person has trouble relaxing because they are constantly on the lookout for threats. When someone with PTSD experiences hypervigilance, they can’t relax and enjoy spending time with you because they don’t feel safe. Fortunately, with support from an experienced psychologist, your loved one can learn to manage this symptom and practice being more present in the moment with you.