Returning after a long assignment overseas is something that many soldiers look forward to, especially those who have their own families waiting for them. However, there is a number of veterans who have returned home, only to feel the constant stress of danger and anxiety. While this may sound like a difficult situation for some, it is very common. In fact, approximately 14 percent of every 100 veterans are living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Dealing with the effects of PTSD doesn’t just stop when you’re home. For many, the effects it carries may also harm the family unit.
Why Women Are More Prone To PTSD
For veterans with PTSD, coping with trauma while managing their home and family is the most difficult aspect of the condition. The disorder affects both men and women, with females found to develop PTSD more than men. Experts say that the likely reason for this is that women are more exposed to sexual assault, which is considered among the leading causes of the condition. This does not mean, though, that female soldiers experience sexual assault most of the time. Records show that 10 percent of veterans with PTSD are female soldiers. To make matters worse, medical professionals say that PTSD affects female soldiers differently when compared to their male counterparts, mostly because women tend to be jumpy and more prone to depression and anxiety. Sometimes, the slightest noise or disturbance can trigger their condition, which may lead to minor, or at times, serious consequences.
Now imagine when a female veteran living with PTSD comes home to a chaotic environment where the slightest disturbance or noise could trigger the condition. This can elicit nightmares, flashbacks, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about past events. In a home where there are kids or babies, such PTSD attacks might lead to harmful consequences. So how do you cope with the condition and at the same time, efficiently manage the home? Whether you are a female or male veteran with PTSD, you should know that overcoming the condition does not happen overnight. This might make your life difficult sometimes but you can always perform tasks that can help you cope with the symptoms and at the same time, minimize your feelings of anxiety and fear. The key to defeating the condition is conquering your feelings of helplessness.
Managing your condition may also involve using appropriate support to help you with your children. You may set aside screen time to give them (and you) time to destress and chill out. Newly pregnant vets may benefit from time spent designing and planning their nursery and getting things in some kind of order to help with the difficult newborn stage. The more you get ready, the more time you can dedicate to yourself and your new baby. Look at different things you can buy in advance including your crib and cot accessories and also your stroller.
Always remind yourself that you possess the strength and skills that you can use to overcome the condition and help you get through difficult times. If you have small kids, try reaching out and help them get their schoolwork done. Volunteering your time in your community, helping your spouse with routine tasks, or reaching out to a friend in need can do wonders in helping you cope with PTSD. Seek professional help to get you back on track. Remember, while the condition may trigger painful memories and leave you with a constant sense of danger, professional help and coping skills can help you overcome it.