Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition which can be very destructive to both the sufferer and to their loved ones. The group who is most afflicted by PTSD is, without doubt, the armed forces. The obvious reason being the dangerous and combative nature of their work. This work is vital and we have a responsibility to help bring peace to those who have made sacrifices that have affected their mental health. Any soldier who experiences combat is at risk of developing PTSD and it is therefore a global issue.
One country that is providing some support for veterans with PTSD is Australia. Australia has deployed 70,000 troops since 1999 and is affected by PTSD. Something that seems to be working well is veteran home care, which is available in Sydney. Let’s look at some of the effective techniques used by veteran’s home care services like the one in Sydney.
- Follow their lead- When interacting with veterans suffering with PTSD it is important to let them take the lead. This means waiting until they are ready to talk about traumatic events or emotions until you get some indication that they are ready.
- Do everyday things- One of the main activities used by the Sydney home care service, and ones like it, is that they encourage that veterans take part in everyday activities. This helps reinforce the idea that their reality is safe.
- Don’t push them- Pushing a PTSD afflicted veteran to talk about things they are not ready to is a very risky and not advised- whether in Sydney or anywhere else in the world.
- Listen- Seems obvious. It pays to pay extra close attention to a veteran so that you don’t miss anything, it could be important and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to build trust.
- Minimise stress- The clue is in the name ‘stress disorder.’ We can’t cure headaches by shouting. If possible, help the suffering veteran to avoid stressful situations.
- Anticipate triggers- When they are ready to talk- be it to a loved one or a home care service- it may be possible to identify triggers, such as crowded places or loud noises. If anticipated, these can be avoided.
- Let them know you’re committed- People with PTSD can often feel insecure and jaded, let them know that you are completely committed to them.
- Rebuild trust- Again, emotional security is precarious at best with the seriously stricken. Keep promises and be patient.
- Take time for yourself- Trauma can rub off on you. It is vitally important that you take time for yourself, especially when your loved one may be prone to mood swings.
- Educate yourself- It is vitally important to educate yourself, this is a varied and delicate condition that requires empathy and patience. If you have a local veterans home service, like the one in Sydney, you can contact them. Or there are lots of online sources that have helpful information.