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PTSD, Coronavirus + question for men

(9 Posts)
Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 08:51:14

DH has ptsd and currently is very afraid of coronavirus, shared with me he is afraid all of his loved ones will die from it and it feels very bad for him.
In the past he had the habit of scratching and biting himself and managed to nearly give it up but now returned to it and gets angry at me when I tell him to stop.

He shared his feelings with me but is unwilling to discuss it with others. He has friends who have ptsd (all male). In the past he has discussed other fears (such as fear of terrorism) with them but it was very difficult for him and he was surprised they did not laugh at him.
He will not discuss his fear of coronavirus with them. In fact he has even hinted that he wants his freedom back and is not a bit afraid of the coronavirus (not true at all).

I tried to encourage him to discuss it with them but he just told me that I do not understand what it is like to be a man and that other men feel it is unbecoming a man to be afraid of coronavirus.

OP’s posts: |
AConvivialHost Sat 23-May-20 09:42:26

You say he has PTSD - has this been diagnosed?. If he was willing to talk to someone to get a diagnosis, is it just because his current trigger is the coronavirus that he's not willing to discuss it with a professional?

My DH is ex-military and has PTSD. As part of his treatment, he was advised that he may have relapses into poor mental health, and that anything can trigger it, and was given CBT and other strategies to cope with the relapses. Has your husband had treatment?

litterbird Sat 23-May-20 09:45:26

Its really sad to read this. I have a friend who is male and in the same position. He is also slightly OCD too. He is quite paranoid about it all which is so disheartening. He has shared his feelings with me (he is separated and living with his parents). HIs fear now has gone to his daughter who lives in the marital home with the STBEW. He had a breakdown the other week at his parents home as couldn't cope with the fear of going out and being with people. He works from home now and refuses to return to the office now as he says "the virus will be there so I dont want to go back". I have 2 female friends too in the grip of fear and refuse to go outside if there are people walking around. Its so heartbreaking to see this fear in them. I have tried to talk to my male friend but his fear makes him think irrationally and won't listen to the balanced view of corona. We live in an area where the infection rate is absolutely minimal with 1 death for the area which is astounding. Sadly, I think this type of mind set will continue if the government do not do something about the messages they have bombarded us with over the time. I take a balanced view of it having been travelling around the world for my job which is known as a key worker so I get to see the whole picture of it. I hope your husband can get some help as the PTSD is real. The fear is real for them and being male it must be so strange to be afraid of something you can't see but is life threatening. Its in a persons DNA to protect and it must feel so difficult for them to try and protect against an invisible enemy.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:47:03

He is ex mil too. He had CBT and has discussed his ptsd with other men who have it too.

It is the fact that his current trigger is the coronavirus. He is very much afraid that this is his trigger.

I think the trigger is easy to understand. A friend of his had sepsis and this has contributed to his ptsd...

But basically he is afraid that this is his trigger because he thinks that almost all other men think people who are afraid of the coronavirus are cowards.

OP’s posts: |
AConvivialHost Sat 23-May-20 10:03:39

It's really difficult, but I would try and encourage him to go back into treatment - hopefully it would help him reframe his thoughts. It's great that he can talk to other men with PTSD, but if he can't talk to them about his current trigger, then he needs to speak to someone who he knows isn't going to judge, and that's a professional. Everyone is worried, to some degree about the Coronavirus, but it makes sense that for someone with PTSD or another mental health condition that it may be a trigger.

As he's ex-military, you know he'll get priority access, so should be seen quite quickly.

I don't mean to come across as trite - I know how difficult it is living with someone with PTSD and especially getting them to ask for help/support - but I don't think you're going to be able to help him without getting some external support.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 10:18:49

@litterbird Similar with my dh. He works from home too (it‘s not really a choice). His employer send all of them into home office but he is very happy for it.
Goes only out to jog after dark because he thinks that there are fewer people out then, avoids all areas where he could meet people, disinfects and cleans everything.

OP’s posts: |
litterbird Sat 23-May-20 10:20:59

@Flyingfish2019...I feel for you. I really hope he gets some help and he can manage his fears and PTSD.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 10:22:29

@Aconvivialhost: I suggested that he should discuss this with a professional but currently he refuses too. Afraid he would be told he is a coward, afraid that he will be told that he has only himself to blame for having a higher than usual risk (he has gained a lot of weighed and his blood pressure and blood sugar are not okay).

So basically he is afraid of being called a coward and fat and I cannot talk him out of it.

OP’s posts: |
AConvivialHost Sat 23-May-20 10:53:02

OK - sure you've tried this already, but could you help him mitigate his own risk factors then - 'I know you're worried about the coronavirus, but you can't control that, but what you can control are the risk factors that may make it more serious for you, if you were to get it. How about we look at ways to reduce your BMI/blood pressure/blood sugar? That's in your control and at least that way, you're being proactive and giving yourself the best chance, if you were to get it...'

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