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Need book recommendations re: PTSD and adult survivors of abuse

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I need some book recommendations.

I'm looking for a book or two to help me understand the psyche of someone suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (from fighting in a war, if that makes any difference) and a book or two to help me understand the psyche of an adult survivor of childhood abuse.

I'm not looking for clinical stuff or books on treating these things - but stuff that will help me communicate better with someone suffering from these things.

A very dear woman told me that
"...someone like this hears you with their intellect but they don't "feel" any of it deep down. They are fully capable of sitting down and discussing things with you and sound perfectly logical and reasonable but it all comes from their grey matter, not their souls. They don't intimately believe in their own words.

Furthermore, you cant "tell" or even "suggest" to XXX what to do. They won't listen to you. They learned that loved ones could tell him to do things that weren't meant genuinely for their benefit.

If you have not already done so, read up and study about adult survivor of abuse and post traumatic stress disorders. Try to understand how and why XXX feels the things they feel and thinks those thoughts. With such understanding, when you talk to them you will be able to say things that will "hit home" to them and awaken the psyche that has been buried through the years. Appeal to XXX's soul and heart, not XXX's mind.
I took a quick look - and there are a LOT of books on both subjects and I don't just want to take a stab in the dark with it.

If anyone has any recommendations, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #2 of 9
Not sure if this is one that can help as it deals with emotional/verbal/physical abuse (child or adult) but it helped me understand the verbal/emotional abuse my ex-husband did to me.

Abuse Survivors Speak Out by Patricia Evans.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I'm sorry for the reason you have to recommend it ( ), but it's nice just to have a place to start, because otherwise the options are overwhelming.

post #4 of 9
No problem, I always recommend those suffering from abuse to read that book - it was a life saver for me. I cried so much, finally seeing the truth of what happened to me.

But it also made me that much more appreciative of my hubby now (he also suffered abuse as a child from his step father). We both love each other and understand so much. And hopefully we can help others in the future from what we've gone thru.
post #5 of 9
I read the same book GK recommended. It helps. Most people are left with some emotional scars.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook by Glenn Schiaraldi.
post #6 of 9
Going to speak with a therapist (or more than one) might be really beneficial for you, as they can tell you exactly what you need to know to best communicate with this individual and give you more insight to what they are going through mentally (which also will have an impact on what they are going through in the other "ally's", physically, spiritually, etc.) And also, reading textbooks for students going into the mental health field about disorders could be helpful to you to learn the background. Empathy, compassion, and understanding go a long way. Glad you are trying to understand and be there for this person.
post #7 of 9
I read a book for class once called "Horrific Traumata". It deals with some of the spiritual issues around PTSD and emphasizes war-related causes. It's a great book and delves into issues of faith, hope, and emotional suffering. Everything else I have on PTSD is related to abuse.

post #8 of 9
I've never liked any of the books you can find in the self-help section, personally.

The VA hospital has tons and tons and tons of resources available for treatment and information and counseling, just to reiterate esrgirl's links. It's one of their specialties, and if your loved one was in a war in the US military the services will be free for them and possibly for you as well. Going to counseling together would not be a bad idea.

Allies in Healing is one of the old stand-bys on the topic.

Whoever told you that part in quotes is right-- one of the major symptoms of PTSD is denial and avoidance. We do things that seem completely irrational on the surface, but it may be because it was the only thing we were able to do at the time. Just not talking about it, ever, is bad, but so is being pushed to talk about it or talking about it too often.

One of the major things I've found is that I shouldn't have any shame in telling people about such matters, but it hurts more than it helps to dwell. I told my SO when we first started dating, and its acknowledged and not a hidden topic, but we sure don't dwell on it. One of my biggest fears is that once people "know" I'll be treated like I'm fragile, breakable, a patient, or else they'll become angry or ashamed. The best reaction is one of simple understanding and a little bit of comfort.

Basically-- have patience, but do NOT let this define you, them, or your relationship. I've seen that happen, and it makes everyone miserable and it makes the PTSD worse. Luckily, PTSD is almost always acute, it may last years, but it doesn't last forever.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the input. Already taken some of the advice - was just looking for additional avenues (e.g. the books).

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