My fiancee just had a severe PTSD episode. Need help

Page 1 of 1 [ 7 posts ] 

salad
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jul 2011
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,226

12 Jun 2021, 11:36 am

I need help and advice since I feel incompetent and inadequate in what I should do to respond to this episode since im still learning the arts of subtle and nuanced emotional empathy, expression and support. While outside the house walking an airplane began to fly overhead and my fiancee began to panic and have a severe PTSD attack. It started with a frozen mortified look, her eyes seemed to stare blankly as if remembering something, she began to breathe heavy and almost hyperventilate, and finally she just hit the floor and collapsed. We immediately called an ambulance and she's being taken to the hospital.

So a little bit of context. My fiancee is from Syria and her entire family and village perished from an airstrike from a war plane, leaving her orphaned and deeply traumatized. When the airplane flew overhead it must have acted as a trigger and before she knew it she was reliving memories from Syria all over again. It breaks my heart that I couldn't do anything about this. Ive only known her as someone tough and who was able to move forward, not knowing just how precarious and fragile her trauma was that even an airplane flying overhead would lead to this

I'm wondering what I should say to her when I see her again? the hospital she's at has limited visitors so I may have to wait an hour or 2 before I can see her, and I want to say the right thing without making her feel worse. I wonder what I should do


_________________
"One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."

Master Oogway


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 77,134
Location: Queens, NYC

12 Jun 2021, 12:17 pm

Just be there for her. You don't really have to "do" anything---unless she requests that you "do" something.

It's better for you to be there for her, and not do too much----than to do nothing at all, in fear of "not doing enough."

For you are "doing enough" just be being there.



magz
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 1 Jun 2017
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,727
Location: Poland

12 Jun 2021, 12:37 pm

Just be with her.
Hold her hand or hug if you're both okay with it.
You're both survivors. Knowing there is someone who cares and understands is the best she can receive from you :flower:


_________________
Let's not confuse being normal with being mentally healthy.


aspiemike
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,216
Location: Canada

12 Jun 2021, 1:39 pm

Sometimes all you have to do is just be there. Even saying the words "I'll be here with you" may be the only words needed.

As others said, what she needs she will ask for.


_________________
Your Aspie score: 130 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 88 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


IsabellaLinton
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 40,188

12 Jun 2021, 3:27 pm

Here's my go-to link for helping a person with trauma:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd ... h-ptsd.htm

Loving, learning, and listening are key.



BeaArthur
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Aug 2015
Posts: 5,775

12 Jun 2021, 4:08 pm

Tell her you love her whether she's having a strong moment or a PTSD moment, and you'll be there for her.


_________________
A finger in every pie.


DW_a_mom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,667
Location: Northern California

12 Jun 2021, 6:05 pm

Sometimes it is enough to wish you could remove the trauma. What she needs more than anything is to know you aren’t running away.

I don’t know either of you, but your posts leave me really hopeful that you will enjoy a really good life together. You want to be there for her. Your turn to pick up her baggage and carry it for a while.


_________________
Mom to an amazing young adult AS son, plus an also amazing non-AS daughter. Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).