- The time doesn’t always cure
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition that occurs as a result of participation in hostilities (or other traumatic events), and has one nasty trait: it doesn’t disappear with time but augments. If within a year and a half after the traumatic event no special therapy is conducted or there is no adaptation to a normal, peaceful life, the painful symptoms increase. In this regard, instead of hoping that time cures, it is better to watch the person with PTSD closely and address for help timely.
- A day or a year – is not so important
The duration of the traumatic impact is not critical in PTSD; the main factor is the depth of traumatic impact. This means that even a one-day stay in a flash point can lead to serious mental disorders. As well, even a short-term stay in the zone of military operations can cause PTSD. Thus, not only those, who experienced long-term stress, need special care.
- Leave war on war
One of the most important tips that well-known psychologists give to people who experienced hostilities is not to take war into civilian life: war should be left behind. It is not necessary to recall the past every day, again and again. It is important to separate the past from the normal events of life, to draw the line and not cross it: we have to live in the present time, not in the past. The person should be at home, not only physically, but with thoughts and feelings.
- Do not try to forget
The war cannot be forgotten, so attempts to do so would be in vain and debilitating human psyche. Veterans shouldn’t try to sever all ties with their former fellow soldiers; on the contrary, such communications may help to reconcile with the past, especially if to talk about the war only in the past tense. Life at home may become a good topic for dialogue between veterans.
- Restoring relationships
From the first days of peace it is necessary to put every effort to restore the previous personal and working relationships. This means that it is important to start working on a previous place as quickly as possible or find a new job; renew communications with friends, relatives, neighbors. It is important to get previous life back, accept thing that bring joy, go for the state of being in demand professionally, being needed. Relatives and friends are those who can help in these matters.
- Refrain from blaming
It is important not to blame yourself for the situation that happened and caused severe psychological trauma. But just as important is to refrain from blaming other people, who stayed home. This means that the person who went to war should refrain from blaming others for not experiencing the same, for not being in a war zone. Such accusations, first of all, greatly hurt the psyche of the prosecutor, exacerbating the symptoms of PTSD.
- Do not seek revenge
Searching for guilty ones, trying to impose order, looking for those who should be punished for what happened – this is another way to prolong painful experiences, to prevent normal life. Reluctance to let the war go is a distinct feature of PTSD. No matter how big is the desire to have revenge for what happened, to find justice, to correct mistakes, such actions will not lead to positive changes, will not bring relief or improvement. The desire to take revenge or to punish the guilty – these symptoms of PTSD are very important to overcome.
- Do not rely only on others
Any social assistance from outside, support of family or friends, or even a favorite work cannot bring a person back to a normal, peaceful life against his/her will. Peaceful life is much more multifaceted than war, for peace is not only animal power and the struggle for survival, which dominate during war. A person needs to make an effort and go beyond the desire to survive, to want more, to relearn how to communicate and negotiate.
- Friends and foes
The war is not a relationship between people but between states. People become enemies not as human beings and not even as citizens, but as soldiers. It is possible to fight with soldiers only as long as they are fighting, and as soon as they lay down their arms, they become ordinary people. In peaceful life, all people around: good, evil, stupid or unpleasant, are not foes.
- Say No to Violence
Methods for solving problems during war are out of place in a peaceful life. Often people, who used to solve problems by force, look for “weapons” after war. They lose the skills to communicate, to negotiate and try to act from a position of strength. It is important not to solve the problem by one stroke, to fight the urge to hurt someone who “deserved” or did wrong. It is necessary to leave the war and its method in the past and return to normal life.