Helpful Things To Say To Someone With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ~
People don’t know what to say sometimes.
When I got my ‘diagnosis’ of PTSD recently it felt so liberating and relieving but my boyfriend is more of a ‘buck it up!’ type of person and I don’t think he felt the same relief. I think he felt a bit — -unhappy about it.
Some of the comments he made to me made me feel far more panicky, like:
“Just decide to STOP!’
“Its all in YOUR head so YOU can choose to change it’.
Sounds easy eh? Trust me it is not.
I am grateful to find some great resources and help online. I found this article by Lilly Hope Lucario about how to talk to someone who has PTSD.
‘As a result some say things that are harmful, invalidating and hurtful. Often unintentionally. Some avoid us, either because they don’t know what to say, or because they don’t want to deal with our pain.’
Some suggest we should be over this, or shame us for talking about past trauma. That increases the isolation and shame survivors often feel.
Here is a list of things survivors of complex trauma, who have Complex PTSD, feel are helpful.
- I believe you. (This is the most important).
- I’m here for you.
- What can I do to help?
- I know that you don’t want to live your life in what feels like a constant and never ending state of pain and misery and I know that you ARE trying hard enough to get through it the best you can with what you’ve got.
- What happened to you was never your fault.
- What happened to you, should never have happened and you did not deserve that.
- I admire you so much for the way you are dealing with it.
- I am proud of you/your courage/strength.
- If you need me for any reason, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me; I am and always will be here for you, to the best of my abilities.
- You are not weak or bad or wrong, you didn’t deserve this and you could not have stopped it.
- Thank you for surviving.
- I’m sorry they hurt you.
- You’re a good person.
- If you need to talk, I’ll listen.
- I want you to feel good and safe.
- How can I help you feel safe?
- You are loved and cherished.
- It’s okay to be hurt and angry, these feelings don’t make you a bad person.
- I won’t preach forgiveness at you.
- What you are experiencing is real. I believe you. And I believe in you.
- Your uncontrolled emotional breakdowns were not because you were a selfish, but because you were in an indescribable pain.
- I’m proud/impressed with the progress you’ve made (maybe give examples).
- Just tell me what you need and I will understand.
- You are not alone, no matter how much it feels like it.
- We will make it through this together.
- I’m so sorry those things were done to you.
- Its not your fault.
- It is not your shame.
- I love you and I wish I could take your pain away.