Caring for our 38 year old son with PTSD

We have been caring for our 37 year old son with PTSD from a serious accident a few years ago. He has not worked since and and has now had a major revival of his symptoms. He has been with us 6 weeks and things are really difficult as he seems a bit better some days and then other days he is really difficult. He seems depressed and we don’t know many people as we are newish to the area. He doesn’t have a network of friends. He is seeing a psychotherapist and this is helping a bit he says.My husband and i are squabbling as it is putting a great strain on our relationship. I also have to care for my Mum who lives nearby. He gets up late as he spends a lot of time on internet through the night. Any advice please?

I have had personal experience of having PSTD cured by a type of therapy called EMDR or EFD. If son is willing it could take as little as 2 or 3 sessions to resolve once and for all. Not many psychotheapists are trained in it so Google to find someone your area who offers it. It mught costs quite a bit but few sessions are needed so it works out quite cheap, esepcially if he can then get back to work.

I don’t understand how it works. I just know it worked for me.

As to the rest of it, it’s stress that affecting you and hubby so you must both work to manage it. That time off and away from the situation, both holidays and weekly, talking to each other, exercise, socialising away from home and putting yourselves first every so often

Hope some of this helps a little

Thank you so much for answering. He is already having EMDR style treatment and somatic experiencing with the psychotherapist and I am hoping this will help. He has had 6 sessions so far. We are trying to look after ourselves. So glad you got better!

Our son was in a deep depression for several years, and by luck when he first came home we clearly said “our home, our rules” and said he had to be up by 9 every day, do chores when asked etc, and we think the routine helped him, he needs structure in his day.
We also spent much time building his self esteem, lots of praise and encouragement.
We were also advised to Step back somewhat and let him solve his problems in his own time. It was difficult to do but we were encouraged to model good healthy behaviours to him, i.e. show him we were looking after our own mental health too, we could express anger and sadness and not hide emotions from him

Somehow it all came together, after some 5-7 years
I don’t know if any of this will help PTSD but it might help the depression

His depression seemed, with hindsight, to come from having no job and nothing to do. Once he was working everything changed

My heart goes out to you

Would you like to tell us more about mum? It’s tough being a Sandwich carer.

Perhaps a chat with his psychotherapist about what you can do to help - eg routine and responsibilities or stand back and let him work things out for himself or rest etc etc? With his permission, obviously.

Also if it’s not working out with this therapist don’t be afraid to get him to try another. My boy went through the motions with the first we found him, but a second try a year or so later with one he chose and met himself beforehand worked wonders

thank you to everyone who replied. Wonderful to feel we are not alone!

We have not been able to establish a good routine with him. He goes to bed very late indeed and gets up around lunchtime. If something is happening eg going to see the psychotherapist or going to food market once a week (which he enjoys) he doesn’t have a motive for getting up and doesn’t eat 3 meals either. He always helps with washing up after evening meal but otherwise everything is done for him. I guess we are in shock as we did not expect him to be staying long term and he is sleeping in our sitting room so we don’t have much space. He goes into melt down if we broach the subject of the future, if he wants to go back to his flat or move somewhere else.
My Mum is not terribly needy yet but she would like to see me more frequently - everyone wants a piece of me!
Thank you and bye for now.

“Everyone wants a piece of me”…I ended up on the verge of a breakdown, when newly widowed and newly disabled, disabled mum and son with LD just ignored my disability and wanted me to carry on as before!!

Counselling was life changing for me, someone who concentrate on me, my needs, my limitations, and most of all, my right to my own life! The others will carry on as normal until YOU change something. Find a good counsellor (ask your GP) and then you can learn how to be gently assertive.

Thank you.
I am seeing a good counsellor/therapist who is amazing so i am lucky in that respect - just finding the day to day stuff really hard.

I don’t have any experience of mental health issues, but have been a carer for 40 years. Here are a few ideas which might help.

Would it be possible for you to have some dedicated “me” time? If your son is late up, could you go out to do something for yourself, gym, walk, swim or whatever? (Dressmaking for holidays is my personal therapy).
Alternatively, an hour or two in the evening for a long relaxing bath?

Now your son has moved in, do you and your husband ever have time in peace together? Could you have a regular evening out together? What sort of things are you bickering about?

As far as mum is concerned, if she wants jobs done in the house, then make sure she gets someone else to do them, you are not a slave. Maybe plan a morning a week to go out together for a coffee or trip, so you both find it enjoyable. If she keeps ringing you for a chat, use the answerphone. I know it sounds cruel, but just taking control of when you have a chat can feel great, rather than be interrupted.

Everyone needs to understand that you are a person with needs and dreams of your own, not always available for others!