New and seeking advice

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Knight

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New and seeking advice
« on: October 21, 2016, 07:25:49 AM »
Hello everyone,

One of my family members was subjected to military-grade psychological torture techniques, and has exhibited a number of the symptoms of CPTSD discussed on this site.

I am seeking some advice on how best to help my family member recover, and would be deeply grateful for whatever ideas you could offer. Thank You!

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Three Roses

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Re: New and seeking advice
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2016, 05:04:19 PM »
Hello and welcome, Knight! We're glad you have joined us.

Although many of us suffer the same symptoms, each person's "triggers" and reactions will vary. I think the most important thing we can do for family members is to understand this disorder, and to accept the fact they have no control over what triggers them. There are several books that address CPTSD; one is Pete Walker's "From Surviving to Thriving", which deals with CPTSD rooted in childhood abuse. (Complex PTSD can also develop from the situation you're describing, inescapable prolonged torture,) I've noticed that some people who have CPTSD from other sources than childhood abuse don't really click with Walker's book, but it would help you understand what your family member is going through. My favorite book on this subject, however, is Bessel Van Der Kolk's "The Body Keeps The Score", which goes into what physically happens to the brain as the result of trauma. It's available in audiobook version on YouTube.

I found this article online, which I thought you might find helpful. (Full article http://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/ptsd-in-the-family.htm)

6 tips for helping someone with PTSD

Provide social support
Be a good listener
Rebuild trust and safety
Anticipate and manage triggers
Deal with volatility and anger
Take care of yourself

We are seeing more people asking how they can help their loved ones with this. Thanks for reaching out. :)

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mourningdove

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Re: New and seeking advice
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2016, 05:16:45 PM »
Welcome, Knight!  :)

I don't have much to expand on what Three Roses offered, but I would recommend learning as much as you can about C-PTSD, and also encouraging your family member to do so, if possible. I know that for me it helps a lot to understand at least on an intellectual level that everything I go through from C-PTSD actually makes sense and is a predictable result of complex trauma. I second Three Roses' recommendation of Bessel van der Kolk's work.

I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your family memeber. It sounds unspeakably terrifying. :( How wonderful, though, that they have someone like you who is willing to do research for their benefit!