You don't have to be a member of the armed forces to have post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD), but nearly 20 percent of service members
deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan reported having symptoms. In
recognition of June as PTSD Awareness Month, Wounded Warrior Project™
(WWP) is offering 10 tips for how to help someone who may be suffering
"It is a sign of strength for a returning service member to acknowledge
they may have PTSD and ask for help," said John Roberts, executive vice
president, mental health and family services for Wounded Warrior
Project™. ""These 10 tips are meant to directly help those dealing with
PTSD," added Roberts. "They are also to help others understand that PTSD
can be treated and is a normal human reaction to abnormally stressful
situations. PTSD can happen to anyone."
10 Tips for Helping Someone with PTSD
1. Let the veteran determine what they are comfortable talking about and
2. Deep breathing exercises or getting to a quiet place can help them
cope when the stress seems overwhelming.
3. Writing about experiences can help the veteran clarify what is
bothering them and help them think of solutions.
4. Alcohol and drugs may seem to help in the short run, but make things
worse in the long run.
5. Crowds, trash on the side of the road, fireworks and certain smells
can be difficult for veterans coping with PTSD.
6. Be a good listener and don't say things like, "I know how you felt,"
or, "That's just like when I…" Even if you also served in a combat zone.
Everyone's feelings are unique.
is a website where warriors and their families can find tools on how to
work through combat stress and PTSD issues. Learn about more mental
health support resources that ease symptoms of combat stress.
8. Remind warriors they are not alone and many others have personal
stories they can share about their readjustment. Talking to other
warriors can help them cope.
9. Allow and encourage warriors and their family members to express
their feelings and thoughts to those who care about them.
10. Let them know that acknowledging they may have PTSD says they're
strong, not weak.