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Helping DH with PTSD

(7 Posts)
Knackeredout Wed 04-Nov-09 13:14:37

I'm a fairly new member, but have name changed.

Nine years ago, while I was in labour with our eldest son and my DH was driving to the hospital, a man committed suicide in front of DH's car. DH was cleared of any wrong doing, but understandably carries around a lot of guilt. He has had some counselling, and tried antidepressants, but not for very long. Every year, as DS1's birthday approaches, he becomes increasingly down, agitated and angry. I have tried everything I can think of over the years to help him come to terms with what happened, but nothing seems to help. I have got to the point where I am just so very tired of living with this horrendous shadow over our lives (I know that makes me sound like a complete selfish bitch). He often sits and stares off into the distance, and I know exactly what is going through his mind. He is an amazing father, and a fabulous husband, and I just wish I could take it from him

Has anyone got any experience of helping someone through a traumatic experience, and could you please tell me what worked in the end? (I am being deliberately vague about the details of the incident, it would make us too identifiable)

Chickenshavenolips Wed 04-Nov-09 14:19:33


madmouse Wed 04-Nov-09 14:43:40

Oh what a horrid thing to go through. And no you are not selfish. I have ptsd and it is not always fun for my dh believe me.

You need support because you have been affected by this too.

You say he has tried some counselling and anti-ds

Does he feel he needs more help? It is not clear from your post whether it affects him around the anniversary of the incident or whether things are bad all year round.

He may be a good candidate for emdr

When did he last see a doctor about this? Or does he think he does not need further help?

Chickenshavenolips Wed 04-Nov-09 15:02:54

Thanks for replying He says that he thinks about it daily, but that it really gets a grip around the anniversary. He won't say much, and seems to be dealing with it by just refusing to aknowledge it's happening I think that he feels ashamed to ask for help. He has admitted now that something must be done, but is reluctant to commit to anything. His second counseller tried emdr with him, and he abruptly stopped going, saying it was a waste of money. I just don't know how to approach him so that he'll hear what I'm saying, IYSWIM.

Chickenshavenolips Wed 04-Nov-09 15:06:53

Aw, I am crap at name changing blush

madmouse Wed 04-Nov-09 15:55:18

sometimes as a loving partner you are the wrong person - you are too close and have too much of a stake in things. For me it was a good friend who helped me see what was really going on and helped me to face up to my problems. Towards my wonderful dh I still sometimes pretend I am ok (not that he believes it). He may feel guilt towards you and your dc for being a bad husband and father because of it.

Is there a good friend or someone like a pastor he can talk to?

Does he know and understand what he is going through is a normal response to an abnormal event (still the best definition of ptsd) and that he is free to feel this way - that it is not strange or weak or abnormal?
Would he be likely to go for something like life coaching so he feels he is doing something to get more grip on his own life?

adelicatequestion Tue 10-Nov-09 09:06:56

I too have ptsd resulting from child abuse, but my psychologist told me when I asked her about emdr for me, that it was for one off traumatic events like car crash, etc. It may be worth looking into it but I would advise doing it through a psychologist who practices emdr.

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