Dating With PTSD Is Hard, But Not Impossible
PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder is a condition that affects millions of people.
Unfortunately, most of them don't get help from a counselor and continue to live in their dark bubble, struggling to function from day to day.
When you say PTSD, you probably think of veterans, who struggle to carry on with their lives after seeing the horrors of war. But the disorder affects many more people, as 70 percent of all Americans go through a type of trauma at one point in their life and 20 percent of them develop PTSD.
This means that more than 30 million people are affected by PTSD, which made the National Institute of Health to call it a “growing epidemic.”
Even if you've been through therapy sessions, your daily live is not going to be the same after suffering a traumatic event. This makes it harder for people with PTSD to work and cope with the challenges of life. And when it comes to love, things are even more complicated.
Dating with PTSD is hard, as you need to find someone who accepts you and your trauma. If you are like me, you also have problems becoming attached to new people and an acute fear of being rejected.
However, dating with PTSD is not impossible, as long as you have patience.
Take it slow.
It won't sound good, but after a trauma, you shouldn't be rushing into a relationship. A traumatic event leaves its marks on your entire being, so take it slow.
The first thing you have to do is find a therapist and make peace with yourself, then head toward a new relationship. And when you do start dating have patience and take everything slow.
Wait until you tell more about yourself.
Many people with PTSD are so eager to tell their date about their issues, they actually say too much, too early.
It's important to be sincere with your date, but wait until you put on them the burden of your trauma. Unfortunately, the brain structure is changed by a traumatic event, and this results in cognitive and behavioral changes, as well as a severe social impairment.
This pushes most people to act awkwardly on a date. As PTSD is their closest topic, they just start talking about it, frightening the potential partner.
Wait until you know the other person better and the relationship becomes more serious before you tell them about your trauma.
Don't let anyone label you a “victim.”
Yes, you are a victim, but this doesn't mean you should be labeled as one.
Even if you have PTSD, you also have yourself. For example, one is never just the girl who was raped at 10; she is the girl who won her BA in History at Bristol University, she's the girl who manages a team of six at her job, the proud mother of a 3-year-old puppy and passionate about horseback riding.
No one is just a victim!
Focus on who you are and don't let your trauma define you as a person. When you find someone who is only seeing you as a victim, just move on and find someone who loves you for who you really are and is able to see the person behind the trauma.
Learn to use your sixth sense.
People who suffer from PTSD develop a sixth sense which is telling them to get away from dangerous situations.
This is highly useful in the dating world, as it helps you stay away from mean individuals. Never let anyone push you into doing something you don't want.
When the time will come, you will know, so there is no reason to rush things. However, you need to learn how to dose this instinctive behavior, as you can easily overreact and miss out on amazing opportunities.
Don't let anyone insult you.
Even after several dates, you might find your partner is not the person you believed he or she is. Don't let anyone insult you or tell you that it was your fault! When you eventually tell someone your story you open up to that person and you relive your trauma. If the person in front of you is not going to respect you, there is no reason to stay with them.
Don't let anyone shame you for what happened; stand up and fight back.
You are a survivor, even if you have troubles sleeping, you suffer from depression and you have panic attacks. This is how the human body reacts to trauma.
You are now working on regaining control over your life and you deserve someone who is able to value you for who you are.