General New Supporter, looking for help

P

Pilots Wife

Can any of you recommend some tips for a recent supporter. My husband is a survivor of a plane crash and his PTSD has just kicked in. Conspiracy theories and paranoia to name a few. How did you get through this initial onset?
 

MnM

Confident
Top tip: make sure he gets professional help. Don't be the only one holding hope for his return.

Paranoia and conspiracy theories are, in my experience, next to impossible. If you can support him and be his bff through this, let someone else be the bad guy. Tread very carefully - oh, and get a therapist yourself as well. Please 🙏🏼
 

Portlander

New Here
Top tip: make sure he gets professional help. Don't be the only one holding hope for his return.

Paranoia and conspiracy theories are, in my experience, next to impossible. If you can support him and be his bff through this, let someone else be the bad guy. Tread very carefully - oh, and get a therapist yourself as well. Please 🙏🏼
Hey - new to forum. Immensely grateful to have found it.
Dealing with similar situation. Supporter here with husband who is dealing with PTSD after TBI in 2016 from car accident and recurring cancer and highly invasive and life changing / debilitating surgery and family (siblings) who abandoned him (us) in all of this.

MNM: when you say next to impossible are you talking about treatment or saying that paranoia / conspiracy theories / hypervigilance aren’t connected ?

**Connected to PTSD….
 
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Sweetpea76

Moderator
@Portlander all the hypervig is part of PTSD. That’s an actual symptom.

I think what @MnM was saying is that in their experience, trying to manage a sufferer deep in conspiracy theory land isn’t a task that’s going to be productive. You’re not going to be able to “logic” them out of it.

We as supporters can’t fix or help with PTSD symptoms or treatments. That’s up to our sufferers. We can be supportive and empathetic, but they have to want the treatment and do the work alone.
 

MnM

Confident
Thanks @Sweetpea76 for expanding - definitely what you said. @Portlander If you're a supporter, support. Enter the delusion. Understand their view of it. Accept this is how they feel. That's literally all they need from a supporter - not your job to figure out the where why and when and how... leave it to medical pros. Your partner has to be willing to pursue their own healing - that's not something you can do for them on top of supporting them. Your support is invaluable. The medical pros won't do that at all. They will probably work against you at times. They will tax the ever living shit out of you. Spend your energy supporting your partner. Let them believe what they believe - it will be there until it's not anymore, but they need to be the ones 'discovering' the truths you've been trying to tell them.
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
it will be there until it's not anymore, but they need to be the ones 'discovering' the truths you've been trying to tell them.

I agree, but you’re more patient than me! I can’t indulge in the nonsense, and I don’t validate any of it. I’m compassionate that those thoughts are real to him, but I’m not going to encourage delusional ideas. Luckily my partner isn’t conspiracy-minded, but he does have some cognitive distortions we deal with in the same way. I gently tell him it’s bullshit, and redirect the conversation without escalating.
 

MnM

Confident
I agree, but you’re more patient than me! I can’t indulge in the nonsense, and I don’t validate any of it. I’m compassionate that those thoughts are real to him, but I’m not going to encourage delusional ideas. Luckily my partner isn’t conspiracy-minded, but he does have some cognitive distortions we deal with in the same way. I gently tell him it’s bullshit, and redirect the conversation without escalating.
I don't know that I'm patient as much as I'm super curious. And perhaps a little self-sacrifice, helper, and over-empathy. Maybe a little masochism. I'm working on those 😫 #getinline 😂

I do think we can accept others' delusions without validating or encouraging them. You saw a ghost today? Tell me about what you saw and felt. Doesn't matter (to me) if you did or not, I validate your process and your existence, and even if you're lying or trying to manipulate me, my validation of your delusion takes its power away. Absolutely deflates it. Am I gonna ask you to point out ghosts? No. Am I going to tell you my ghost stories? Probably not. Am I going to throw ghost parties? Nope.

I treat it like dementia or schizophrenia. You trust me enough to tell me. My response is either to walk away or to ask you about it. Either we build trust or we don't - that's how my personality approaches it. It does mean I get absolutely caned sometimes, for sure. But it does make my life and my decisions easier.

Amazing you can tell your partner it's a load of crock and they accept and you all carry on. That's real relationship! And so much trust!
 
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