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Boyfriend Needs Help for PTSD

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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

Boyfriend Needs Help for PTSD

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Boyfriend Needs Help for PTSD

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Boyfriend Needs Help for PTSD. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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