PTSD diagnosis – how to share it with the others

You have been experiencing the symptoms for a long period. Now that you finally know what the diagnosis is, you have to tell your friends and family, but it is difficult to talk about this subject. You do not have to share the diagnosis with everyone, it is your decision which one of your friends and family members should know it. It is advisable not to hide the diagnosis from your loved ones, because they are definitely worried for you. They noticed the symptoms you have struggling with, because these symptoms do not affect only you, but also your loved ones. You will need social support to deal with this condition, and to fight it, and the persons who can offer you the help you need, are your family and friends.

If you do not know when and how to tell them that you are dealing with PTSD here are some tips that will help you.

Decide which one of your loved ones should know

Telling the people you love that you are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder is a great step for you. Some of your family members and friends are closer than others, and you may want to share this only with them, at least at the beginning. Also, you should ask yourself if you feel comfortable in the company of the persons you want to inform that you are suffering from this disorder. It is important for you to feel comfortable when you share the news. The first step is to select the persons you want to talk with.

It is essential the persons who know to support you. They have to be non-judgemental, understanding and reliable, because they should be there to help you when you are having difficulties. Make sure that you do not tell the persons who are known for sharing the gossip or the ones who criticise the people who are having psychological struggles. Actually, it is advisable not to maintain contact with the persons who are known to having toxic behaviours. Your list of confidants should be short, because you share with them your deepest feelings.

Decide when the right time to tell people about PTSD is

When you know who the persons you trust the most are, you have to decide when you want to tell them that you are dealing with PTSD. It is important to choose a good time, because you do not want to shock them. Also, you have to make sure that you are ready to talk to other people about your diagnosis and struggles. When your loved ones will find out there are great chances they to react emotionally. This is why it is advisable to choose a time that it is not stressful for them or for you.

One idea is to invite them over for a tea. It is advisable to tell them individually, because different people have different reactions. It is important to have their attention, and not to be other factors that can disrupt your conversation.

What do you want to disclose?

Only because you have decided to tell them that you are suffering from PTSD, it does not mean that you have to tell them everything. For example, if you do not feel comfortable you do not have to tell them what the event that caused you this trauma is. Or you can share the event with them, but you do not have to offer them specific information about it. You are the one who controls the information. Offer them the needed details to understand what is happening and how this diagnosis influences your life. Also, tell them what they can do to help you.

When you will share your diagnosis with people, you can expect someone to ask you an uncomfortable question. However, if you are not ready to offer them an answer you should simply tell them that you are not ready yet to talk about it, and they will definitely understand. You should try to prepare with answers to different questions people can ask. Your loved ones will choose to support you even if you do not share them the complete history of the disorder. Make sure that you tell them that you are following a holistic treatment for PTSD because they will want to know that you are doing your best to recover and to improve your health state.

Your loved ones already know that something it is not right

Considering that PTSD is the type of disorder that comes with numerous symptoms, your closed ones have definitely observed them and they know that you are dealing with a difficult situation. People are always noticing when their loved ones have difficulties in finding sleep, when they isolate themselves, when they are anxious or alert. This is a good thing, because it shows you that they are concerned about your health state and they want to help you fight the problems you have.

  • You should know that your loved ones probably feel helpless because they do not know what to do to improve your state. When they do not know what is wrong with their loved ones they blame themselves. Also, your recent behaviour may have made them feel rejected, because the persons who are dealing with PTSD are often pushing their friends and family members away.
  • When you want to share your condition with the others you should try to review your attitude towards them in the recent past and to address those events. If you explain to them what is causing your mood swings and change in attitude they will understand and they will help you cope with it.
  • When you start the conversation, you should make a statement like “You may have probably noticed that I was not feeling good lately”.

There may be cases when some of your loved ones do not understand what the condition implies. Also, some of them may not show you the support you have expected, and this can be a difficult experience for you. But you have no reasons to feel embarrassed or ashamed, different people have different views, and you have to offer them time to understand better the situation.

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