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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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How Can I Help?

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Just be there for him or her. Encourage them to try to get help.

Olivia Jefferson

Family Member

How Can I Help?

When someone you love has PTSD, it can change your relationship with them. The person with PTSD may act differently and change the way they express emotions. He or she may not want to do things you used to enjoy together. Fortunately, there are option for making things better. This section provides information on how you can help a loved one with PTSD, including information on very effective treatments for PTSD.

Helping A Loved One

  • Helping a family member who has PTSD
    Families are often hit the hardest by the effects of PTSD. Changes in one person often seriously impact others in the family. The section provides information on how to help family members with PTSD, including suggestions for how to take care of yourself so that you can be there for your loved one with PTSD in the best ways possible.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy: Helping during treatment
    Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is an evidence-based treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This means that it has been studied by researchers and found to be effective in treating PTSD. Most people who complete CPT show a noticeable improvement in PTSD symptoms.
  • Prolonged Exposure: Helping during treatment
    Prolonged Exposure (PE) is an evidence-based treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This means that it has been studied by many researchers and found to be effective in treating PTSD. Most people who complete 8-15 weekly sessions of PE show a noticeable improvement in PTSD symptoms.
  • Helping a Veteran

  • Helping a Veteran get needed care
    When someone you care about has PTSD, it affects you too. You are probably spending time and energy to help your loved one cope. Even if your partner, family member, or friend with PTSD is getting treatment and getting better, you may still feel drained, worried, or even frustrated. You need support at the same time you are giving support.

Get help for PTSD

If you need help right away:

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PTSD Information Voice Mail:
(802) 296-6300
ncptsd@va.gov
Also see: VA Mental Health