Light After Trauma: How to support people with PTSD and transform their lives

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe psychological reaction to a traumatic event or series of events. It can occur after an individual event, such as rape, assault or a car accident, but also after collective events, such as war or natural disasters. PTSD is a condition that affects millions of people around the world, regardless of age, gender or social status.

Understanding PTSD

The first step to helping those suffering from PTSD is to understand what the condition is. PTSD is characterized by a range of symptoms that can include recurrent and unwanted memories of the trauma, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, feelings of separation from others, and strong physical reactions to reminders of the trauma, such as tachycardia or excessive sweating.

Empathy and patience

Empathy and patience are key to helping people with PTSD. It is important to give them space to express their feelings and experiences without judging them or forcing them to talk if they are not ready to do so. Try to be supportive and don’t forget that the process of healing from trauma is different for each person and can take a long time.

Professional support

PTSD is a serious condition that often requires professional help. If someone you know is suffering from PTSD, it’s worth suggesting that they seek the help of a professional – a psychologist or psychiatrist. Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) are often very effective in treating PTSD.

Help with daily activities

PTSD can make it difficult to perform daily activities. Support with household tasks, shopping, or even companionship during walks can be invaluable. Small gestures like these can help a PTSD sufferer feel safer and more understood.


Knowledge is power. The more you know about PTSD, the better able you are to help. Read about PTSD, attend workshops, trainings and other forms of education that can increase your understanding of this complex condition. This knowledge can also be valuable to a PTSD sufferer who may not fully understand what is happening to them.

Emotional support

Being a listener can be one of the most powerful tools we can offer. People with PTSD often feel alone with their experiences. Let them know that they are being listened to and that their feelings are important. However, remember to respect their boundaries and don’t force them to share if they are not ready to do so.

Take care of yourself

Helping someone suffering from PTSD can be emotionally draining. It’s important to remember to take care of your own mental health. Seek support when you need it, and remember that you can’t take on everything.

Support in accessing your resources

Help navigating through the health care system and accessing resources can be extremely valuable. You can help find the right professionals, support groups or other resources that can help you cope with PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious condition that can significantly affect the life of a traumatized person. Modern medicine and psychology offer many effective forms of therapy that can help those struggling with PTSD. The help of loved ones, friends and the community is also crucial – not only in understanding and accepting the condition, but also in practical support on a daily basis. Remember that each person is different, and what helps one person may not help another. The key is patience, empathy and a willingness to listen and learn.

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