Our society recognizes that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a problem among war veterans. There has certainly been an increased awareness surrounding recent Veteran’s Day activities that will probably fade soon.
Not as commonly known is the “secondhand PTSD” that many families deal with while trying to carry on while their spouse has been away serving their country. Those left behind to raise their families are dealing with everything from handling the money, the house, their jobs and raising the children on their own. Many spouses develop their own mental health issues such as anger, depression or suicidal thoughts as a result of their own spouses’ PTSD and recognize the impact on their children as well, according to a recent online article.
There is a lack of adequate facilities aimed at helping veterans and their families combat PTSD and transition properly back into civilian life. After the Vietnam War, veterans were sometimes wrongly diagnosed with such things as schizophrenia. Even though today the disorder is more readily recognized, the facilities may be sub-par or even non-existent and veterans are left on their own while suffering at home.
A recent veteran returning from Iraq said that while he was offered counseling at a facility near his home, the treatment was not adequate. His family searched for family counseling, but most veteran’s facilities did not offer such services and as a result his marriage began crumbling while he was still traumatized by the images of war. Five years later the family did eventually find help for all of them at a facility that was further away.