More thoughts from Richard Danielson’s article “They Wage a War Far from the Battlefield”:
To count as PTSD, the symptoms such as nightmares, insomnia, or flashbacks, must have lasted more than a month, and must have hurt the patient’s ability to function at work or in relationships. A key factor in the diagnosis is being directly exposed to a traumatic event. This wasn’t the case with psychologist Sunich’s patient, a wife of a deployed soldier.
Tom Berger, a senior analyst for veterans benefits and mental health issues for the Vietnam Vets of America notes, “There’s a lot of research to show that partners and spouses and kids suffer from secondary PTSD.”
A 2005 study of the fmilies of Dutch peacekeepers found that partners of soldiers with PTSD symptoms reported more trouble sleeping and marital problems than partners of soldiers with no symptoms. Dr. Carri-Ann Gibson, director of the PTSD and trauma recovery program at James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, Florida, says “If somebody is with you and they’re constantly hypervigilant … you can sometimes take on that kind of anxiety.” Continue reading 'Military Spouses and Secondary Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder'»
In an article by Richard Danielson, he writes of an interview with psychologist Michael Sunich. Sunich had a new patient come in one day. She looked so “put together” with her collar-length bob, dark blazer and big diamond ring. She made a good first impression.
Yet within minutes, he saw she was anything but. She wrung her hands and cried easily, recalling nightmares and panic attacks. Six months before, her soldier-husband had returned from a 16-month deployment to Iraq. He was unhurt and untroubled. But she was a wreck. Continue reading 'Spouses of Soldiers Deployed Often Exhibit Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder'»
An article by Randy Dotinga, looks into the findings of a Yale Study on the effects of war on men, the homefront, and society. He writes, “Two decades after the Vietnam War, a new study concludes that male veterans who spent time in combat were more than four times as likely as other men to engage in domestic violence.”
The Yale University researchers also found that combat vets were at much higher risk for divorce, depression, and unemployment. Co-author Holly G. Prigerson, an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale notes that the findings are striking. “Being exposed to and witnessing these horrible things puts you at risk of a lot of bad outcomes for a long time.”
The combat vets were 4.4 times more likely to have abused a spouse or partner than other men, and were 6.4 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. They were also two to three times more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse, unemployment, divorce and separation. Continue reading 'Yale Study Shows Combat Vets Most Prone to Domestic Abuse'»
I just found this organization today. Taryn Davis, just 23 years young, was looking forward to a happy life with her soul mate, Michael. Then on May 1, 2007, her dreams of their future life together, died. Michael had been killed by a series of roadside bombs just an hour and a half after they’d last spoken.
Lost and alone in the new world she was thrust into, Taryn began traveling around the country to hear other women’s stories of love, tragedy, and survival. She hoped to learn more about her new title, that of a “military widow.” Those first steps in adjusting to her new life, have resulted in a non-profit corporation, a 75 minute documentary film, and a growing website. She has embraced her new life with enthusiam and passion.
Her mission statement reads “ The American Widow Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the new generation of those who have lost the heroes of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, with an emphasis on healing through sharing stories, tears and laughter … Military Widow to Military Widow.” Continue reading 'The American Widow Project Offers Hope, Solace, and Sisterhood'»