C-PTSD and Interpersonal Relationships
I had no idea how PTSD would change our relationship. How Dating Someone with PTSD Changed My Perspective. Medically But it soon became apparent that the challenges of our childhood were about to be outdone. The symptoms of PTSD can hamper cooperative problem solving, effective communication, emotional closeness, responsible assertiveness. For many people with PTSD, being in a relationship and breaking up can be even more of a blow to your heart — and can make your triggers.
That said, understanding the disorder can help make it easier for both you and your partner to communicate and set healthy boundaries. I spent years trying to understand how PTSD affected my partner, and, ultimately, had to walk away from our relationship.
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Symptoms arise anywhere from three months to years after the triggering event. In order to be characterized as PTSD, the person must exhibit these traits: At least one re-experiencing symptom like flashbacks, bad dreams, or frightening thoughts. At least one avoidance symptom. At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms. At least two cognition and mood symptoms, which includes negative self-esteem, guilt, or blame.
It was a reminder that bad things happened, and that that feeling might never stop. Loud noises made it worse, like thunder, fireworks, or truck backfire. There was a time we sat outside watching fireworks, and he held my hand until my knuckles turned white, telling me the only way he could sit through them was to have me next to him. For us, these symptoms made basic relationship things difficult, like going out to dinner to a place that was new to him.
Dating Someone with PTSD: Depression, Anxiety, and More
And then there was the skittishness and aggression, which are common for people with PTSD. He also had explosive outbursts of rage, which left me in tears. He was the softest, most complimentary man 90 percent of the time. But when he felt wounded or scared, his cruel side became consuming.
He knew my buttons to press — my insecurities and weaknesses — and he had no shame using them as a weapon when he felt angry. Not only is he strikingly handsome, he is smart, caring, and compassionate. Over time, these negative thoughts become generalized so that negativity permeates all aspects of life. They can also carry over into a relationship. This deep insecurity shaped how I treated him, with more reassurances without prompting.
But I obliged him. I walked out of the room on friends and stayed on the phone with him for hours.
I picked him over everyone in my life. In believing that he was unlovable, D.
- 6 Things I Learned from Dating Someone with PTSD
- How PTSD Can Affect Relationships
- Dating Someone with Complex PTSD: Healing and Growing With Your Partner
There are treatment options Amid the feelings of hopelessness and isolation, people with PTSD do have options. The best way to tackle the mental health issue is with education and seeking the help of a professional. Beyond that, I researched and tried a few other treatment options as well. Here are few that may help you or your partner with PTSD: Support groups and networks can help your loved one break out of the pattern of isolation that their PTSD constantly pushes them into.
How Dating Someone with PTSD Changed My Perspective
During treatment, they will learn how to identify, use, and sustain support networks. These are invaluable skills that will help them better integrate into the world and engage in personal relationships in a way that is healthy for them and everyone involved.
Holistic therapies like yoga can help promote the grounded sense of control and body awareness that is so beneficial for PTSD recovery. And in order to establish a healthy, positive relationship with another person, you need to be able to create one with yourself. By addressing the driving forces of complex PTSD, treatment can help your partner learn to cope with their struggle in a positive way that promotes personal growth.
And with so many options for support through family and couples therapyyou will be able to contribute to this growth both in your partner and yourself. Seeking Treatment and Moving Forward Together In order to move forward together, both you and your partner need to learn the most effective and adaptive ways of addressing the problems that complex PTSD creates in your relationship. Through a comprehensive residential treatment programyou will be connected to the professional tools and supports necessary to address this mental health challenge.
After these unique learning therapeutic learning experiences, you will have the positive energy and outlook to move past the negativity that has held you both back, allowing you to focus on developing a lifelong bond with each other.