Boyfriend Needs Help for PTSD

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My boyfriend served in the Army for 8 years and was deployed several times. He now is a police officer and still sees a lot of action as it were. He is very much a manly man..he still acts like a soldier, men don’t cry, has to be strong for everyone else, etc. Lately he has been having more and more nightmares, where either he is killed, or he watches myself or his friends get killed. He has also expressed just feeling mean, wanting to hurt me emotionally and verbally, as well as thinking he hears someone trying to break in. I have done research and know these are classic signs, but he doesn’t even want to discuss seeing a counselor. I know this is really what he needs. How can I support him in doing so. I don’t want to push too much and push him away, right now, I’m the only person he will talk to at all about it. I am so worried about his health. Please help.

A: I admire the loving concern you have for your significant other. I think your desire to help him is important because the emotional toll this can take on both of you can be enormous.

I think I would explain to him that it has become difficult for you to continue coping with his symptoms, and that you would like to make a couples therapy appointment for the both of you to go to together.

You probably already know from your research that there are a number of treatment options and it does sound like his symptoms are indicators. Ask him to join you to help you. But in either case I would go to the session. If he comes with you, that would be the best. But if he doesn’t, you’ll need the individual counseling to help.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Boyfriend Needs Help for PTSD. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/11/13/boyfriend-needs-help-for-ptsd/