Copyright © 2017 Rob Johnson All rights reserved -
The Dept. of Defense own studies reflect that at over 20% of returning troops will suffer from P.T.S.D., Homelessness or poverty. Your mission is to encourage and educate veterans on what their potential entitlements may be and to apply for those benefits. You wont be alone and the wilderness is vast.
Once home, a condition such as PTSD or a state of intoxication can trigger violence. In 2008, the US Army recorded 140 suicides within its ranks. We must all work to halt this growing trend. How do we do this? First, by working with State Veteran organizations. John Lee and I talk almost monthly on how to do this work in Washington State. Families are harmed or supported by government (local and federal) policies that deny rights or do not empower the family to become stable.
War is a bad thing and terrible things happen. That doesn't make your vet bad. Listen if he talks about the war. Don't judge, and don't try to stop or smooth over his emotions. When he tells you trauma stories, you might tell him he did the best he could under the circumstances, and wars are horrible. If the stories overwhelm you, it's ok to say you need to take a break and you are working on listening. If he doesn't talk about the war after a few months at home, you may want to suggest he see a counselor if he is showing symptoms of PTSD. If he does talk about the war, it's not a good idea to ask for details because this may bring on a flashback. It's not helpful to tell him you understand what he went through because you don't and can't. It's probably not helpful to tell him he is a war hero as there may be things he did in the war that disturb him. Rather you can say he is your hero by making it home. If he cries, let him cry with you or alone, and don't try to interrupt or stop this. It's probably a sign of healing. Make sure you have someone safe to debrief with as well.
Make an effort to learn who his favorite comrades were during the war. Keeping in contact with these comrades can sometimes be helpful with reentry, and staying in touch with them may last forever, and help with coming to grips with the reality of the war they fought.
The Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Know what to look for. Educate yourself about PTSD as much as you can. Here are a few of the symptoms:
Symptoms may not surface for years. If he has flashbacks, ask him what you can do that helps or if he does better handling them alone.
Researchers have recently examined the impact of veterans' posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms on family relationships, and on children of veterans in particular. Family members of individuals with PTSD may experience numerous difficulties. This fact sheet explains the common problems that children of veterans experience and provides recommendations for how to cope with these difficulties. Although much of the research described here has been conducted with children of Vietnam veterans, it is likely that much of the information applies to children of combat veterans of other conflicts.
Children are affected by a parent's PTSD. Symptoms can be passed from one generation to the next which is called intergenerational transmission of trauma. The ages of your children affects how this occurs. For instance small children may experience the numbness of PTSD as disinterest or not caring, while older children may act out. Sometimes children will take on some of the symptoms of PTSD. You can get information on how to help your children from the PTSD Information Line at 802-
You cannot fix the PTSD symptoms. Those are his symptoms that he has to learn to manage or not. Make your own goals and keep them in your focus. These goals might be improving your own health with good nutrition, exercise, and rest, or spending time with friends, or doing special things for yourself.
How might a veteran's PTSD symptoms affect his or her children? -
MORE COMING SOON!