Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is a mental health condition that affects some people after they have gone through a traumatic event such as car accident, abuse, or loss of a loved one (Source) . However, it can also co-occur with many other mental health issues. When a person has PTSD, it may be difficult to forget those moments, calm yourself down or to sleep properly. These symptoms can affect a person’s daily life, mental health and can affect their relationships as well. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD even when men are more prone to traumatic experiences (Source). Part of the reason why men are less likely to get diagnosed include: hesitancy to get help because of societal standards, different ways of exhibiting/expressing symptoms, or a sense that they do not need support.
Some PTSD Symptoms in Men include:
Detachment from loved ones
Changes in behaviour
Sudden drug usage
Feeling extremely lonely or isolated
Having intense emotions and being unable to regulate them
Constantly bracing for further potential trauma
Feeling helpless or ashamed
Regardless of the beliefs, it is important that we talk about this because it is hard for people to accept that they need help. Opening about their struggles in front of someone is very intimidating as well. Having a strong support system (Source) can help them feel more confident in approaching treatments such as family therapy, peer support groups etc.
Treatments available for PTSD
Often, PTSD is treated with some form of Cognitive- Behavioural Therapy. During the sessions, clients are taught how to be in control and regulate their emotions. This can help them feel in control, change negative thoughts, and get back to their normal life.
Doctors may also refer to Exposure Therapy which allows you to face your fears so you can fight them. This is particularly helpful for flashbacks and nightmares. It would be helpful to be prepared and confident within yourself before you use this approach. This is not to say that this type of therapy is not effective but more like it is good to know your own limits and boundaries of your mental health (Source).
You may have to try different forms of therapy, treatments, and medicines to help you find what works best for you. It is best to reach out to a professional or check out many trusted resources available online to see what might help you navigate this pathway.
Lastly, being their friend can go a long way. Helping your loved one acknowledge changes in behaviour and sitting with them through future decisions can be comforting. If you are worried about impacting your relationship or how to have this discussion, feel free to check out to U of Michigan Health. Being in the clinics with them, reminding them about their appointments, and showing them different options can also be a starter for these conversations we need to have with our men! Let’s include everyone in our mental awareness journeys while not forgetting ours!
Hello everyone! My name is Naila Tariq . I am in my second year, majoring in Psychology. I look forward to having an amazing time with HU this year to create meaningful content that will help my peers in coping with unique challenges of these times.
In my free time, you can find me baking cookies with my sister, and getting cozy with Hot C in my hand (Weather does not matter!). Excited to see y’all!