PTSD is becoming more common. It is estimated that on average around 9% of us will experience it at some stage in our lives. PTSD is a debilitating mental health condition, that has a negative impact on the sufferer´s life and those around them. So if you are asking yourself how does PTSD affect families? all you need to do is to read on.
The breakdown of trust
Trust is an important component of any relationship. If it breaks down things can become increasingly difficult. The problem is that frequently because of the experience the PTSD sufferer has been through they feel unable to trust anyone. That includes family members, so the bond is weakened.
The family dynamic can suddenly change
Often the personality of someone with PTSD changes radically. They may no longer be able to be happy go lucky or the person in the family that looks after everyone. This kind of role reversal is understandably difficult for family members to get used to.
It is particularly hard on the children. As you can see here, for many PTSD sufferers continuing to be a good parent becomes extremely difficult. Becoming withdrawn from others is one of the main symptoms of the disease. So, they tend to start ignoring their children and other members of the family. They are no longer able to take as active a parenting role.
A negative financial impact
Many people with PTSD find themselves unable to hold down a regular job. At least for some time. This can put a financial strain on the family. In particular, if the sufferer was formerly the main wage earner.
Others start to stay away from the family
Most people have no idea of how to help someone who is suffering from PTSD. They do not know how to act around them, what to say or how to react if the sufferer says or does something that is outside the social norm.
As a result, there is a tendency for people to steer clear of the family. Often, without really realizing that they are doing so. In time the entire family can become isolated from the rest of society.
Other members start to struggle mentally and emotionally
Understandably having to cope with such drastic changes puts each member of the family under more strain. As a result, they might also start to suffer mentally and emotionally. They may also begin to develop health issues.
As you can see the impact that PTSD has on families is significant. But, there are effective solutions for all of the above problems. You just need to know where to turn to for support and follow the advice you are given. It will take time and consistent effort on the part of everyone involved. But, there is hope. Families with members who are suffering from PTSD do come out on the other side and end up enjoying family life again, once they receive the help and support they need.