Hope and Healing for Families with PTSD
Jan 23, 2019
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a sometimes silent
affliction that affects many people each year. Often when we think of a
person having PTSD, we picture a soldier who served overseas and is now
discharged as a veteran. Although veterans are a highly
visible population, they are only one group of
people who may experience PTSD in their lifetimes. Victims of
physical or emotional abuse, neglect, and poverty during their formative
years may also have PTSD, as will victims of rape. A person may
experience what is called "secondary PTSD" from living
with a person affected. Often this condition creates a family dynamic
that causes the household to revolve around the victim in a way that is
unhealthy for all family members.
PTSD is often defined as the condition of being unable to stop
remembering. In other words, something terrible has happened and you
cannot stop remembering every detail. You feel like it is still
happening, over and over, filling your every day life with
notes of desperation, depression, and despair. Like every other
invisible illness, those around you may have no idea the extent to which
you are suffering. Often, those with PTSD believe they will always feel
this way and their wounds are too deep to heal.
Therapy is extremely effective in helping to heal trauma and the PTSD that comes along with it. Individuals will sit privately one-on-one with a licensed practitioner who will get to know them and slowly begin to unravel their trauma over time. Regular attendance is crucial. Weekly appointments ensure forward progress, even if that progress seems slow at times. As with all therapy, anything discussed in session is private knowledge protected by HIPAA laws. Your therapist will not disclose your information to anyone else without your permission, even if you are a child below the age of 18.
Adding family therapy to individual therapy helps boost afflicted
individuals forward as well. Family members will begin to understand why
you are affected the way you are and how they can live with you in a
healthy, helpful way. Family members with secondary
PTSD may also receive the help they need so that the whole family moves
forward into a new stage of life where peace, rather than uncertainty
and fear, are the normal dynamic.
If you are interested in healing yourself and your family from the stress and trauma that accompany PTSD, please contact
us. We welcome you to our practices in Fresno and Oakhurst,
California and we look forward to helping you toward a brighter future.