Caring for someone who is dealing with PTSD



“It’s a grounding technique. I’ll start with “”tell me about the ground that you see” and if he tells me it’s sand…I know he’s in Afghanistan,” says Candace Demello, wife of Philip Demello who battles with PTSD.

Candace Demello is talking about her husband Phillip — who suffers from PTSD after serving 17 years in the Army.

Phillip Demello was just one of the heroes who was honored Tuesday at a breakfast hosted by Forces United which celebrates the accomplishments of our veterans. Attendees also learned about the struggles of those with PTSD and those who care for them.

“She pulls a lot of the weight that I don’t, she’s a filter that I don’t have,” says Philip Demello.

Philip Demello struggles with reliving the horrifying memories of combat that crowd his mind.

“It’s just difficult to do.. your mind is back in the zone…back in the box.”

Candance says anything can trigger Philip’s PTSD and learning how to handle certain moments makes it a constant teacher of patience.

“There’s that component of war and when that war stuff tries to show up let me do that part.”

Two years ago Philip meet his roll dog. Abbit. He’s more than just a service dog.

Abbit knows when there is something wrong with his best friend and responds to him based off of his reactions.
“I wouldn’t go anywhere without him… it’s difficult when he goes to the groomers because I have to leave him at the groomers, I’m lost all day without him.”

One of the key thing to keep in mind when you’re around someone who suffers from PTSD–consider their past and some of the things they have been through.

“I’ll have to work him through and sometimes he doesn’t see me as me …. he’ll see me as the enemy,” says Candace.

Below are some resources for you or a loved one who is battling with PTSD


701 Greene St

Augusta, GA 30901

Intake Line: 706-951-7506

Timothy Perry, Ph.D.

Staff Psychologist

Trauma Recovery Clinic 

Charlie Norwood VAMC

706-733-0188, ext. 5204

Truck Carlson

Veterans For Clean Water Program Director

Larry Glover

Behavioral Health Specialist

Eisenhower Army Medical Center

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