It can be difficult for you to help someone within your family who is going through a rough patch emotionally. Acute stress, or otherwise known as PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), can be a very debilitating condition to tackle. The person who has PTSD or acute stress is not in their best possible phase and needs your practical support and help as their family member.
Remember, their condition is not going to alleviate overnight, and there is nothing you can do to make the pain disappear either. It can only be done with rest, time, and adequate support; professionals also advise moving such patients to an eco-village resort for them to get better.
What can you do?
There is something that you need to understand; a person suffering from acute stress is not at their brightest point in life and thus can become very angry and irritable when you try to offer them some help or support. But you need to be firm in your understanding of their situation and provide your assistance anyway. It is the only way you can get through to them and help them grab a handle on their emotional health back.
- The best thing you can do for them is to offer them human support, make time for them, and engage in conversation with them. It will help them feel loved and cared for again and instill a response that there is someone they can always talk to.
- Try not to take the emotional outbursts, angry attitude, or violent behavior of the person who has undergone a traumatic experience to your heart. Their actions are expected, given what they are feeling right now, and it will subside over time.
- Help them understand that what they feel is normal and get better and urge them to seek support and treatment.
- Offer your practical support as well, such as helping them around the house, doing their shopping for them, and that kind of thing; it will help them feel valued and loved.
- Try to provide them every piece of guideline you can find for this stress that they feel and talk them into eating healthy, exercising, and staying away from negative influence.
- If they need some time by themselves, you need to respect their decision and provide them alone.
- Don’t be judgmental, and let them know that you are here to help.
Dealing with violent behavior
Anger is the normal reaction to trauma, and your loved one might be angry about a lot of things. The person suffering from acute stress are often mad and depict antisocial behavior, it can be hard to deal with someone angry all the time, but the least that you can do is try;
- Don’t push them to engage in conversation with you; in fact, to better control the situation and introduce a time-out system.
- Mutually agree on the fact that any one of you can call a time-out when they don’t feel like talking.
- The discussion must stop when a time-out has been called.
- Listen to them without interrupting and offer solutions that you see are non-violent and can help their situation.
- Don’t criticize the person suffering from acute stress; let them share their ideas.
- Work on the condition as a unit and try to focus on the solution you both can agree to work on, whether it be treatment or sending them to an eco-village resort.
The don’ts of dealing with someone who has acute stress
There are always some triggers that can hit hard with the person suffering from acute stress; it can cause them to behave wholly or violently misplace their trust in you. Therefore, the following are a few things that you should refrain from saying or doing;
- Don’t avoid discussing the event as may be with you; they can find some closure.
- Don’t instill your thoughts and advice about how the person should feel or behave.
- Help them think about what they have to work with instead of saying the common phrases such as “it will get better” or “there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
- You should not judge their thoughts or emotions as if they feel that you are sympathetic to them with all of this, then they might open up to you, which is a good thing.
- Don’t advise them to ‘get over’ the whole event; it is easier said than done, and it can take them months or even years in some instances to dig themselves out of the trenches of trauma.
- Please don’t insist on the idea that medical treatment is necessary as not everyone might require it; offer them a lighter option such as joining an eco-resort where they can be closer to nature and have some alone time to sort things out.
It can be hard to provide support to someone suffering from acute stress as, at times, the person might not accept your help and behave violently. But you need to be consistent in your approach of helping them and being patient with them throughout the journey.