Dating someone with ptsd and anxiety

6 Things I Learned from Dating Someone with PTSD

PTSD is a debilitating anxiety disorder that occurs after a traumatic event, like war combat. Symptoms arise anywhere from three months to years after the triggering event. In order to be characterized as PTSD, the person must exhibit these traits:. It was a reminder that bad things happened, and that that feeling might never stop. Loud noises made it worse, like thunder, fireworks, or truck backfire. For us, these symptoms made basic relationship things difficult, like going out to dinner to a place that was new to him.

And then there was the skittishness and aggression, which are common for people with PTSD. He was the softest, most complimentary man 90 percent of the time. But when he felt wounded or scared, his cruel side became consuming. He knew my buttons to press — my insecurities and weaknesses — and he had no shame using them as a weapon when he felt angry. Not only is he strikingly handsome, he is smart, caring, and compassionate.

Over time, these negative thoughts become generalized so that negativity permeates all aspects of life.

Feeling more helpless as time went on

They can also carry over into a relationship. This deep insecurity shaped how I treated him, with more reassurances without prompting. But I obliged him. I walked out of the room on friends and stayed on the phone with him for hours. I picked him over everyone in my life. In believing that he was unlovable, D. Amid the feelings of hopelessness and isolation, people with PTSD do have options.

Dating Someone with PTSD

The best way to tackle the mental health issue is with education and seeking the help of a professional. To support my partner and my own mental health, I continued my established solo therapy routine. Beyond that, I researched and tried a few other treatment options as well. PTSD can make it hard to express emotions sometimes. Due to the emotional mental block PTSD can cause, sometimes we are not able to talk about our feelings to our loved ones.

Trauma is often the reason why expressing emotions is physically impossible sometimes.

6 Things I Learned from Dating Someone with PTSD

This can make arguments or times when you want to be physically intimate pretty difficult. Often physical touch can be triggering for a partner with PTSD. This can even make some people with PTSD believe they will never be able to have an actual relationship. Talk to your partner about what kind of touch is OK — holding hands, kissing, etc. Dating with PTSD can come with a lot of little worries, worries we hope will not affect the relationship.

However breakups with PTSD can be even harder because of the symptoms you experience. They find the perfect partner who takes their hurt away. The prince finds the owner of the glass slipper, and his life is complete. Happily ever after, the end. I let my fairy-tale expectations cause hurt and misunderstanding. I kept waiting for Wayne to emotionally open up about the trauma he had lived through. I held tight to assumptions that after just a little more time together, the nightmares would go away.

  • Why the Difference Between Traditional and Complex PTSD Matters.
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  • What It’s Like to Date When You Live With PTSD | The Mighty.
  • Dating Someone with Complex PTSD: Healing and Growing With Your Partner – Bridges to Recovery.
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Because PTSD is associated with specific trauma or traumatic events, it was easy for me to fall into the trap of believing that the further removed from the trauma Wayne got, the more the condition would fade. After all, this has been my experience in light of painful events. But it does give us the opportunity to grow and change the way we cope — this goes for the person with PTSD as well as their partner.

Now, I know that there are times when I just need to let Wayne deal however he needs to.

Dating Someone with Complex PTSD: Healing and Growing With Your Partner

When I see distress rising in his face, I can reach for his hand, but I remind myself not to feel offended if he stays silent. That first time we heard fireworks while inside a souvenir shop, our carefree time quickly turned anxious. Once we were outside and able to see the source of the noise, we could enjoy the display together. With Wayne, no amount of comforting conversation was going to replace the comforting sight of a harmless fireworks display.

But everyone with PTSD is different.

In these times, physical touch from her partner can be comforting: While this means communicating with each other, it can often include talking to someone else as well. On more than one occasion, Wayne and I went to counseling. But both of us showing a willingness to try spoke volumes about our commitment to each other. My perspective on PTSD and other mental health conditions has changed significantly as a result of our relationship.

There are huge challenges, but there are also threads that come together to create a silver lining. Regardless of what he says, I think others find him reassuring. I know I do.