rss
21

Talking to a Soldier with PTSD: 5 Ways to Avoid Triggering a Soldiers PTSD During a Conversation

A recent study found that one in eight soldiers returning from a combat deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD. Soldiers suffering from this mental illness often find it hard to carry on conversations with regular citizens, including family members, when returning home. Listen to these pointers.

1. Avoid Crowded/Noisy Environments

When talking to a soldier, no matter how you are affiliated, try to avoid crowded areas. You may notice a soldier looking around the room constantly, finding it difficult to focus and seeming unusually anxious. Wait to carry on the conversation until after the room has calmed or simply suggest going outside for privacy.

Side Note: This situation resembles that of being in crowded cities or markets. The learned instinct in combat zones is to always be aware and never be trusting of your environment. This is frustrating for a soldier in many ways because loud noises from children, people brushing up against him/her can trigger a high level of anxiousness which will lead to frustration.

2. Don’t Suggest Seating in the Middle of a Restaurant

Like in the first topic a soldier can often times find themselves feeling uncomfortable in a crowded or noisy environment. If you will take notice, without saying anything, the soldier will often times choose a seat near a wall with easy access to look out a window. It will also be in a lighted area that seems dimmer than the rest. Allow the soldier to choose where to sit, even if it isn’t where you would prefer. You will be able to have a better conversation and meal with him/her if they are comfortable.

Side Note: This is again because a soldier deployed is always aware. That soldier was used to having a weapon of some sort on his/her person at all times. Now they don’t. They were use to eating in a controlled environment around nothing but other soldiers. Now they aren’t.

3. Avoid Talks about Politics

Soldiers have very strong views and feelings pertaining to politics. Your views, while still important, will not seem that way to the soldier. He/she has been down range. They have fought and sacrificed for their country. You haven’t. By default they will often feel that your opinions do not matter as much and will even feel some distain for your lack of knowledge in areas where they are knowledgeable.

Side Note: If it comes up in a conversation allow the soldier to express their opinions. Standing your ground here will do nothing positive. A soldier will not back down from their stance and will become angry if your stance differs from theirs. They will want you to take their side, see it from their point of view. Just humble them and listen. Give input to someone else.

16
Liked it
RSSComments: 21  |  Post a Comment  |  Trackback URL
  1. war makes people mad
    and i get mad
    at war mongers

  2. Great informative article. I have a friend who is on medication who served two years in Iraq who has PTSD. The suicide rate for veterans of war are higher now than they have ever been. Thanks for sharing this valuable information in educating the public of the many problems our veterans are still fighting on a daily basis. Well done my friend.

  3. Experience speaks volumes, armyguy. Thanks for the advice.

  4. Thank you, when one of my grandsons came back from Iraq, the sound of a backfire almost sent him over the top. Another grandson is deploying for Afghanistan soon for his third tour.I appreciate your information. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my grandsons, granddaughter-in-law who is in the army, and all of you guys who serve your country.I just wish all of you could come home for good.

  5. My Husband has PTSD, and this really helped me understand him better. All of it is so true, I notice these things about my husband, he can not handle lots of people being around him. We just had a meeting with his doctor today, so he could tell me some things he did, and saw while over there durring his tours. I was not prepared at all for what I heard coming out of his mouth. My heart goes out to all military people serving this country. For others dealing with loved ones with PTSD, all I have to say is hang in there and just give your total support to them. Let them know that they are not a “bad” person for doing their job. My husband is having trouble with that part.

  6. Loving Wife,

    He probably hasn’t told you everything yet. A year is a long time and a lot happens. Hang in there with your husband because he needs it.

    If you ever need to check out the Military One Source. It’s for active duty and spouses.

  7. everything you’ve said is exactly true. my sister keeps saying i’m here but i’m not and she wants to understand. it frustrates me even more so.

  8. I need help, see my boyfriend has just got back from Iraq in August. He is dealing with things that normal people shouldnt be dealing with. Here recently he has discovered that alcohol makes “things” go “away”. I dont want him to result to alcohol. He is a stronger man than that. He has bad dreams and I tell him that I am there for him. He has these moments where he just wants to be alone and I dont know how to deal with that. He tells me he wants something for ourselfs…that nobody has. He wants a baby but I dont know if he is mentally prepared and if he is saying that because of the PTSD? HELP PLEASE!

  9. Marines Girl,

    Many soldiers/ Marines believe alcohol helps them. It doesn’t. Alcohol is a depressant.

    The first sixty days back from a deployment are generally tough but the next 120 are really rough. I think that the only thing you can do is try to continue to be there for him but also let him know that he is no longer at war and that he needs to be there for you as well. If things are not great right now I would not suggest a child at all.

    Armywriter

  10. I’m dealing with that problem too…my friends.

    It was dificult wen it started…but everything is possible with God hep …and the other part is being aware of the things they do not want tobe near…heping to y
    them in that way…they will be most relaxing, ….

    You know i’m learning to deal with this proublem and everything I hear from you others spouses helpme , becouse I can see, I’m not Alone in this…many other persons are dealing rigth now whit the some proublem

  11. Thank you so much for this site! I am a volunteer with a Veteran’s outpatient clinic. Some of us are attempting to move and further develop an art’s and writing program for the Veterans in our area. We have seen that this outlet has been quite valuable in enabling these artists and writers to meet and develop their craft in a supportive and non-judgemental environment. I for one will share this site with my cohorts, and will study and take to heart what is presented.

    Blessings,
    S. Ross

  12. This website did help me to understand. My brother n law just got back 2 weeks ago and so much written on this site has happened. Being in a store feeling so overwhelmed by people. Driving at night coming to
    a 4 way stop shutting off his lights. Cars passing him while driving which was not allowed out there. It is a major adjustment for them no matter how much briefing and psychological testing they go thru before returning home. So much to understand but us as civilians never 100% will be able to. To all of our soldiers who protect our country THANK YOU and all of our families home, waiting for the return or handling the return, hang in there and never give up on them.

  13. I just want to say that I have been looking for help like this. I am dating a guy with ptsd and cannot get any or find any good advice on how to talk to him when he gets agitated or starts to get upset. Thank you so much. I also have to say I like how you have it set up with the side notes..You have helped me out alot.Keep it going please!!

  14. PTSD is due to a hormone (serotonin) in the brain being too low. All the things on your list blame the person talking to the PTSD patient for not behaving in the right way to help the patient avoid situations that make them anxious. Whether the person is military or not they can have some of a hundred different symptoms and you listed a few. There is one common cause, low serotonin in the brain.

  15. So are you saying more sex will fix the problem of PTSD or are you saying to give them medication that will replace the serotonin because I need to find an answer. I have recently legally vacated my husband from the home because of PTSD. I am not sure if this is leading into divorce but we are not together any more. We have been living in silence and denial since he returned from deployment in 2010 and now it he has become so difficult to live with, I believed my only recourse was to separate. He does not want to get the help, in fear of being put out of the military and I believed what he was telling me, that it was my fault he was acting this way. He has been drinking a lot of staying away from home, he resents me, he is very distant and cold, sometimes he can be very loving and other times he wants to be left alone to watch the stories and drink his alcohol.

    He breathes heavy in his sleep like someone is chasing him. One night he took and wrapped his arms around my neck and began to choke me. Another night he began kicking and punching me while still asleep.

    It is important that PTSD is taking very serious because there are going to be a lot of troops coming home soon and we talk about the broken marriages, there are going to be many suicides and other crimes happening if this isn’t a high priority like the physically disabled vets.

    So, the answers I believe every spouse want to know is, where is the how to book to keeping a marriage together while dealing with PTSD in silence. Or, just how to communicate with your spouse with PTSD and keeping the marriage together.

  16. Catrina, there is no one quick fix guide for PTSD and helping your marriage. Your husband needs to have the internal strength to realize that he needs to get help, and needs to understand that just because he has gone through something traumatic does not give him the right to allow those experiences to hurt other people.

    Talk to the post Family Life Counselor and see if they can help you get him into counseling. Family Life is great because it does not keep counseling records. They may be able to help, but only as much as your husband is willing to help himself.

  17. you know what you need to add. sptp asking soldiers avbout war. if they killed anyone. fuck uyo. did i kill anyone> why would you wan to know htat? i’ll tell you what you watch people die. smell there blood in the air. watch your friends die and tell the tell me if you wanwt ot to about it. fouk you. seen an ied og off
    ? seend what an efp can do to a bradley? what your whole squad die nin a day and tell me what to say to a soldier. stupeod fucks.

  18. Dear Armywriter,
    Done 4 tours was diagnosed with PTSD not alot of help
    In Oz, no family to lean on that are nearby.
    Most of my company still over there. Any suggestions
    Woulde be appreicated
    Army Medic

  19. I’m an Army infantry vet that is now involuntarily medically retired so I understand the post of not wanting to say anything. I want to know if anyone knows how to sleep better? I have nightmares and flashbacks frequently and avg only 2 to 3 hrs maybe a night some times I’m up a few days at a time. I do go to the VA, see dr’s and therapists regularly, I take sleep meds they dont seem to work along with melatonin and valarion root. I also question whether any of the therapy and physchiatrist visits have done any good. The problems have never gotten worse and with them wanting you to discuss them being the only way to get over or past it I don’t believe helps. My family tells me to be more positive and says things will get better but after many different dr’s, therapists and meds over 5 years and no improvement is there any real help? I can’t speak for all with PTSD but I just want to sleep and enjoy everyday things as I use to.

  20. I\’m an Army infantry vet that is now involuntarily medically retired so I understand the post of not wanting to say anything. I want to know if anyone knows how to sleep better? I have nightmares and flashbacks frequently and avg only 2 to 3 hrs maybe a night some times I\’m up a few days at a time. I do go to the VA, see dr\’s and therapists regularly, I take sleep meds they dont seem to work along with melatonin and valarion root. I also question whether any of the therapy and physchiatrist visits have done any good. The problems have never gotten worse and with them wanting you to discuss them being the only way to get over or past it I don\’t believe helps. My family tells me to be more positive and says things will get better but after many different dr\’s, therapists and meds over 5 years and no improvement is there any real help? I can\’t speak for all with PTSD but I just want to sleep and enjoy everyday things as I use to.

  21. My boyfriend did 5 tours in Afganistan. He is very flippant in nature, as in changing how he feels. He works long houra and drinks alot. Sometimes it seems as though he isolates himself but he feels very lonely at times. Last night i went to his place and knocked on the door. I could see him thru the window marching back and forth and yelling cadence at times. He was wearing headsets so he could not hear me knock on the door. We ended up having a very intimate night together and i came home this morning. I adore him and will continue to be patient and kind to him. He is aware he has PTSD and he is worried about having a relationship. He has had a difficult time with love relationships thus far. I hope him and i can make it right.

RSSPost a Comment
comments powered by Disqus
-->