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How can I explain my PTSD to others?

3 Answers
Last Updated: 05/15/2017 at 3:08pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Hisham Tawfik, M.S.W.


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Top Rated Answers
- Expert in PTSD/Trauma
March 6th, 2017 1:48pm
One of the ways I explain PTSD, is that after experiencing a trauma in my life (I may or may not share specifics there depending upon the person) is to say that because of my trauma, I sometimes experience consequences that I deal with like struggling with the memories, being fearful or jumpy, or not feeling safe.... so I am careful to not be quick to trust people or to discuss certain topics. If I want them to know how they can help, I will explain more, such as I see the memories in my head and it feels like I'm right there again. I may say I am jumpy, so please don't come up behind me without letting me know you are there because I don't know what my response will be. Sometimes what I'm remembering gets so overwhelming that I shut down or zone out - I call that dissociation - so I might not seem to be connecting at times. You can help to remind me to look around the room to help if you would, or to bring me a cold or warm drink, or a fragrance that I like to help me focus on the here and now. Of course, there are so many ways to share. :)
November 30th, 2016 4:02pm
Well, it's important that who you tell can be trusted to know that they won't use things against you. The best way I found to tell people, is to simply tell them. If your personally ready for it, share your story of your traumatic experience with them. Explain what PTSD is, maybe some of your triggers or what you go through now (anxiety, nightmares, loss of memory, etc.). But most important, you should tell them how they can help you, especially when you have "bad days" as I call them. Hope this helps :)
May 15th, 2017 3:08pm
If you're comfortable with others, it'll come out. Don't ever force yourself to tell someone something, and never feel pressured into doing so. You are not entitled to telling others anything about you, unless you feel comfortable. If you do feel comfortable, then you can start little by little. Explain to them the experience, before you go into your PTSD. Example, if you have a PTSD with cars, explain to them an experience such as a car crash, then later on go into why you have PTSD with cars. Let it come out slowly, no need to rush.