Coping With A Partner’s PTSD

Coping With A Partner’s PTSD

Dear Laura,
My husband is diagnosed as having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and is on several medications. I find it hard to reconcile with his condition. I don’t feel it is right to make his condition the center stage of our lives. Have I been doing the right thing? Will he eventually get better? Thank you.
–Hashima

Dear Hashima,

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious and legitimate medical condition. The degree to which someone with PTSD is suffering can greatly affect their daily plans and overall quality of life. This condition is no less legitimate than diabetes, and you wouldn’t roll your eyes and impatiently tap your foot while waiting for a diabetic to check their blood sugar would you? Or serve meals to deliberately jeopardize their health would you? Or yell at them to start making their own darn insulin? Well, I certainly hope not! I suggest you speak with your husband about setting up a plan for how he feels and what he needs from you. For instance, if he is having a good day and wants to venture out, perhaps you can shift your plans and enjoy it together. If he is having a rough day, and cannot keep plans, but feels comfortable being alone, you will need to know this so that you can make plans to head out without him. If he doesn’t want to be alone, and you need some time away, hire a visiting nurse or companion to stay with him. Enjoy him on his good days, and love him on his not so good days. Be patient and gentle. Added stress doesn’t help anything, especially those suffering from PTSD. In addition to his condition, the medications also come with their own sets of side effects. This is what ‘for better, or for worse’ means. You need to find a support group or therapist for yourself so that you can release some of the growing hostility and resentment you are having. Being supportive and kind is not the same as being enabling or babying. Nor is it being hostile and resentful. A good professional will help you sort that out. Praying for patience and understanding will help bring you peace. Good luck friend.

Ancient Stardust