Loving Someone with PTSD
A Practical Guide to Understanding and Connecting with Your Partner after Trauma
The New Harbinger Loving Someone Series
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can present with a number of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, flashbacks, and trouble sleeping. If your partner has PTSD, you may want to help, but find yourself at a loss.
The simple truth is that PTSD can be extremely debilitating—not just for the person who has experienced trauma first-hand, but for their partners as well. And while there are many books written for those suffering from PTSD, there are few written for the people who love them. In Loving Someone with PTSD, renowned trauma expert and author of I Can’t Get Over It!, Aphrodite Matsakis, presents concrete skills and strategies for the partners of those with PTSD.
With this informative and practical book, you will increase your understanding of the signs and symptoms of PTSD, improve your communication skills with your loved one, set realistic expectations, and work to create a healthy environment for the both of you. In addition, you will learn to manage your own grief, helplessness, and fear regarding your partner’s condition.
PTSD is a manageable disability. While it isn’t your responsibility to rescue your partner or act as his or her therapist, this book will help you be supportive and implement strategies for lessening the negative impact of PTSD—not just for your partner, but for your relationship, and, importantly, for yourself.
“Aphrodite T. Matsakis has once again captured the essence of the experience of individuals living with PTSD. This time, she has focused on helping those who love survivors understand the complexities and nuances of the issue. Matsakis has skillfully laid out key communication skills to utilize, as well as the common pitfalls to avoid in order to create trusting relationships. As a clinical social worker specializing in trauma therapy, I will recommend this book to the couples and individuals with whom I work. In addition, as a professor teaching graduate students, I know my students will benefit from Matsakis’s expertise and techniques.”
—Eileen A. Dombo, PhD, LICSW, clinical social worker, Washington, DC, and assistant professor at the National Catholic School of Social Service, The Catholic University of America
“For the past two decades, Aphrodite T. Matsakis has been helping people understand and cope with post-traumatic difficulties. In her latest book, Loving Someone with PTSD, she turns her focus to the survivor’s relationship with the intimate partner. As always, Matsakis’s advice is rock solid, down-to-earth, and immediately applicable. Bolstered by thought-provoking questionnaires and exercises, she guides the reader to create a safer, more authentic relationship that will sustain both survivor and loved one. This book will benefit everyone who cares about someone who has been touched by trauma.”
—Don R. Catherall, PhD, professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and author of Emotional Safety
“Those who love and care for PTSD sufferers feel ignored and mistreated. The caregivers often suffer silently, not knowing what to think or what to do. Aphrodite T. Matsakis has done a magnificent job describing a loved one’s distress when trying to help and cope with a partner’s PTSD. The author covers issues such as the feeling of helplessness, not only in the PTSD survivors, but in the comforters. Matsakis explains PTSD symptoms, how difficult it is to communicate with a PTSD sufferer, and psychological triggers that may drive a survivor into a rage. She also shows readers how to cope with a survivor’s panic attacks, addictions, suicidal thinking, alcoholism, and drug addiction. She describes common therapies and lists the right questions to ask a person in pain and in despair. Loving Someone with PTSD is a stunning achievement, a beautifully written book that flows from the heart with simplicity and clarity. It will not only save relationships—it will save lives.”
—Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR, author CopShock: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
“A helpful guide for people seeking practical advice when their relationship is falling apart under the stress of trauma. Survivors and those who love and care for them will discover new ways to strengthen and deepen their relationships and reverse the destructive effects of post-traumatic stress.”
—Stephen Joseph, PhD, author of What Doesn’t Kill Us: The New Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth