WHAT IS THE SYMPATHY IN MENTAL HEALTH?
One of the first reactions many family members have is
sympathy for their loved one. People feel very sorry that someone they care
about has had to suffer through a terrifying experience. And they feel sorry
when the person continues to suffer from symptoms of PTSD and other trauma
responses. It can be helpful for the person who has experienced the trauma to
know that his or her family members sympathize with him or her, especially just
after the traumatic event occurs.
Sympathy from family members can have a negative effect, though. When family members’ sympathy leads them to “baby” a trauma survivor and have low expectations of him or her, it may send a message that the family doesn’t believe the trauma survivor is strong enough to overcome the ordeal. For example, if a wife has so much sympathy for her husband that she doesn’t expect him to work…
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