Children with parents who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to carry the same burden as their parents, according to a recent article. That’s a serious problem when nearly 20 percent of Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans are suffering from PTSD.
Those with PTSD tend to have anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares. Children of those afflicted with these symptoms experience the same problems, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The pattern is called secondary traumatization. There are many other symptoms of PTSD that children can begin to demonstrate, such as depression.
Studies show that violence is an unfortunate conclusion in the homes of those veterans suffering from PTSD. The article talks about one child’s memories of her veteran mother. PTSD destroyed her childhood. At 29, Jac LeDoux recalls her Air Force mother always being a stereotypical military parent who got worse after returning home from Vietnam and the Persian Gulf.
Both wars left LeDoux’s mom more hostile than ever. Prior to her military service, LeDoux described her mother as Captain Pain off of the sitcom show, Major Dad. Strict household chores would often turn to physical violence when not done according to her mother’s standards. She recalled the abuse as early as eight or nine years old.
As an adult, LeDoux realizes that her mother’s erratic behavior was due to PTSD and not hatred. None the less, years of abuse have resulted in years of therapy for LeDoux. The situation is all too common for the children of veterans with PTSD.
PTSD basically leaves its victims with a flight or flight predicament. With so much adrenaline pumping through the body, those suffering from symptoms tend to live their lives in a state of panic which causes heightened instability and paranoia.