PTSD and being Misunderstood

Living with PTSD can lead to feeling misunderstood by loved ones and therefore isolated and alone.

Self-isolation is a form of self-preservation as well. It can be easier to remain untriggered or avoid explaining oneself to those who may not understand.

People with PTSD can seem distant as they try not to think or feel in order to block out painful memories. They may stop participating in family and social life or ignore offers of help.

However, support is crucial and you can be part of their healing process by being there for them. If a loved one has PTSD, remember that they may not always have control over their behavior as their nervous system is stuck in a state of alert, and they feel unsafe and traumatized. Anger, irritability, anxiety, flashbacks, and mistrust are common.

If you or someone you know has PTSD, there is hope and there are treatments that help, including talk therapies such as EMDR, support groups, therapy animals, medication, mindfulness, and physical activity.

Additional Resources and Help Lines:

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): (800) 950-NAMI (6264) (877) 726‑4727
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): 1-866-615-6464
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Veterans Crisis Line: (800) 273-TALK (8255) and press “1”
Lifeline for Vets: (888) 777-4443