Impact of PTSD on Relationships 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder develops in some people who have been traumatized. Trauma may include experiencing a near death situation, such as being in war or involved in a serious car accident, or it may include witnessing a traumatic event, such as seeing a horrible accident.  Abuse can cause PTSD as well.  People who endured physical or sexual abuse during childhood can develop PTSD.  Not all people who experience trauma develop PTSD. PTSD impacts people in many ways and often their relationships are impacted by their past trauma.

Past trauma causes a variety of symptoms for people. People who have experienced trauma sometimes struggle to manage anger and impulses. PTSD causes people to feel numb sometimes, which can lead to a lack of emotional intimacy. Sometimes trauma survivors become dependent on others. PTSD often causes people to feel anxious and irritable. People with a trauma history tend to be jumpy and feel like they are on guard much of the time.

People suffering from PTSD experience nightmares or flashbacks. They may have difficulty sleeping, which can cause marriage difficulties if they are tossing and turning all night. They may go to great lengths to avoid anything that reminds them of past trauma. For example, someone traumatized by a car accident may avoid the road that the accident happened on or may start avoiding red cars if a red car hit them.

PTSD can cause difficulties with emotional and sexual intimacy. Partners of people with PTSD sometimes feel controlled or frustrated with their partner. Some partners begin to develop some of the same symptoms and may begin to feel traumatized themselves.

There is help available for people who have been diagnosed with PTSD.  Individual therapy and couples therapy can be beneficial for people who have PTSD. Anger management and stress management skills can sometimes be helpful. Social support provides a lot of comfort to people who have been traumatized and group therapy can sometimes be beneficial.

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