5 Ways to Help Your Veteran Spouse Deal With PTSD

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Every soldier that signs up to serve their country is putting their life on the line. Whether soldiers serve on the front lines or during peaceful times, they have dedicated their service to the protection of civilians. The unfortunate result of active military service is being exposed to life-threatening danger and trauma.

If your spouse has returned home from service and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may be dealing with exceptional stress in your marriage. It’s estimated that more than 30% of active military experience traumatic events during their tour that can cause them mental health issues once they return home. Supporting a spouse that is suffering with PTSD can be challenging and, at times, heartbreaking. 

For those that struggle with PTSD, everyday activities can be challenging. Panic attacks, irrational behavior, and depression are common factors in PTSD. As a spouse, the responsibility of dealing with a spouse that has been traumatized can be overwhelming. From learning what triggers can cause an issue for your spouse to taking care of veteran benefit issues like using a Disability Benefits calculator, many military spouses take on the brunt of the care for their spouse suffering from PTSD.  

Although PTSD can be stressful and have a negative effect on your marriage, it’s not a life sentence. With the right therapy, medication, and support system, veterans can move forward into a regular life. Let’s look at a few ways that you can help your veteran spouse combat their PTSD. 

Encourage Therapy 

PTSD is a serious psychological disorder that can be terrifying and destructive to sufferers. As the essential part of the support team for your spouse, it could be up to you to investigate the best therapy options. It is crucial to find a professional therapist that specializes in trauma. The effectiveness of therapy for PTSD patients can not be understated. There are many things about their experiences that your spouse will not want to share with you in order to work through the issues. Finding a therapist that will help your spouse discuss their problems should be a priority. 

Take Care of the Details 

Many of the responsibilities in ordinary life can be overwhelming for those that have PTSD. It will often fall to the spouse to take on extra duties around the house. Dealing with bills, keeping track of appointments, and dealing with Veterans Affairs could be overwhelming, and should be handled by the support spouse. 

Stay Engaged 

Social activities can be overwhelming for veterans with PTSD. However, it’s essential to try to maintain a connection with family and friends for your spouse. Organizing smaller, more relaxed events and visits can help your spouse stay in touch with their family and extended support system without causing too much stress. It’s not uncommon for those with PTSD to withdraw, so encouraging engagement slowly can be helpful. 

Trigger Management 

Every case of PTSD is different, and each patient will have their own set of triggers that can send them spiraling. Talk to your spouse about the things that stress them out the most and make a plan to try to minimize these triggers. You won’t be able to eliminate all the things that are upsetting, but you can try to make them more comfortable where possible. 

Every veteran is a hero to their family and country. As a spouse of a returning military soldier, helping them to deal with the fallout of war can be a challenge. Follow some of these tips and stay informed to help your spouse win the battle over their PTSD. 

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