MsLLL

A friend with PTSD

Recommended Posts

Hi fellow Ac'lers:),

I have a friend who has PTSD. I have noticed he uses a lot of labels for people, some we both know. This is one of my pet peeves because in my profession I'm used to all kinds of different diagnosis, done by Psychiatrists only. I'm fine with my own diagnosis, anxiety. But I can't stand it if we label other people. What good does that do anyway? If I truly felt a friend was suffering from a mental challenge, I would approach them privately and not share my thoughts about it because it won't do any good and it's a breech of trust. 

I understand people with PTSD view a lot of things as threats and it might make it easier for him to deal with different people once he puts a label on it. I'm the type of person who tries to be authentic in my personal relationships, so I told him it's not something I need to do in my personal life when he suggested a friend suffered from such and such. He felt attacked although I only spoke about my own way of handling this and didn't criticize him in the least. I assured him I understood his need for this since we are all different. But he seems he can't handle how other people handle things? He was being insistent I should label people. 

What gives? I don't want to treat him different than any other friend but I also don't want to trigger him. Any advice would be welcome. I'm at a loss here and it hurts me thinking I have hurt him or should have treated him differently. But how do you know what triggers a person? It can literally be so many things and I can't be aware of them all. 

Advice is welcome :sos-sos: from all of you. And waiting for @jonathan123 pearls of wisdom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. there. Pearls of wisdom!! Oh Geeeeze!!! Thanks, but totally underserved. I only echo how I feel from others I have encountered on the way through this experience. I did a lot of counselling work with folk with anxiety until I went down myself. I realised then that unless you have been there is no way you can understand. One thing I have learned and that is that whatever you do if you do it with Love you will never go wrong. If someone attacks you mentally then to return the hurt is wrong. I know it's difficult not to want to say something back, but we need to resist the temptation. But I do wonder why we are so concerned about what others think of us. No one leads a blameless life. We all make mistakes and we often, inadvertently, hurt someone and often regret it after.

On the subject of labels. I entirely agree that to label someone with this or that makes them a slave to that particular problem. 'Oh yes, he's an alcoholic'. That's it then, isn't it? He/she is labelled for the rest of their life even if they cease to be an alcoholic. They become identified by the label. I remember overhearing a conversation when I was unwell. Someone said about me, 'Well, you know, he's a bit er!!!!'Yes I was 'A bit, er', but so are many so called 'sane' people. I have found that those with anxiety are often more sane than those who seem OK.  In medicine I suppose they have to use labels for obvious reasons, but we should avoid it as much as possible.

I suggest you let him go his own way. If he wants to use labels, fine! but you don't have to. If the guy is suffering from PTSD then his thinking is going to be all over the place anyway. If you give way to his wishes then he might feel that labelling is the right thing to do. Maybe a little challenge in his life would help. Don't let it hurt you because it's one of those tricky situations and you have done nothing wrong. Whatever you do if you do it with kindness and good intentions then there can be no blame attached. Best wishes.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, pearls of wisdom! Thank you Jon. And meanwhile we have talked it through. I told him I don't like using labels because I have seen too many people get hurt or tossed aside but that I respect his need for them. And no, I won't give in with his wishes. It took me too long and I'm too comfortable now to have arrived in my own skin and speak my voice. :)

 

I hope you are doing ok, Jon. I'm wondering if your wife is back home? I will say a prayer. 

 

Thank you. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your kind thoughts. No, my wife is still in a care home and the prognosis is not good. Life can throw some nasty curves at us and often when we least expect it. I am glad you have had a talk with the guy about labels. It's a fact that we often bend our views and opinions to suit others, especially if we feel they are in need. I never think this helps because you compromise your own beliefs. You are as entitled to your views and opinions as anyone else and, as I said, if whatever you do you do with love and compassion then nothing will be wrong. Prayers would  be useful at the moment, and thank you again. Very best wishes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have said a prayer last night but will gladly do it again and again. I'm very sorry about this, I know your wife is your rock and you guys have such an admirable relationship. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now