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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
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    5,990

    Default Spouses of PTSD sufferers?

    Do we have any COTH'ers whose spouses suffer from PTSD related to deployment/combat? I don't have a "support group" myself and would love to hear insights from those that have experience.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
    Posts
    3,505

    Default

    It is a serious thing. My husband has been through some serious stuff that I dont think he can ever "unfeel" or "unsee" and I myself was helping support my best friend who became a widow during it all. The stress of funerals and fear over that year was incredibly hard on our entire family.

    We have a post group online for spouses does your post have that?
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2006
    Location
    Branson, Missouri
    Posts
    382

    Default

    Yes, maam. My husband has not been the same since coming back from an Iraq deployment in 2008. We are talking 7 weeks in patient, suicide attempts, the whole gamete of craptastic stuff that can happen with PTSD.

    I am also a psychology/criminology student who is doing a thesis on PTSD and Veterans' Treatment Courts. I would be happy to talk to you at any time!

    Jamie
    "I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    THere are actually some great support groups. Would you like more info?

    I have PTSD and it really sucks for me and I can only imagine that it sucks for my husband. I have little issues that make day to day life challenging at times.

    I wish you all the best! If you want the other info, I can send it to you via PM.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    california
    Posts
    4,554

    Default

    Please seek help. My father took his life from PTSD from WWII and back then it was so untreated. My entire family suffered and there is so much more support now. Please Please seek help and thank your DH for his support of our freedoms.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
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    5,990

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stolen virtue View Post
    Please seek help. My father took his life from PTSD from WWII and back then it was so untreated. My entire family suffered and there is so much more support now. Please Please seek help and thank your DH for his support of our freedoms.
    To answer a few questions, Mr. Heinz is IRR status, so not on post. He's had some treatment in the past, and functions relatively well day-to-day considering his issues, but still suffers from nightmares and the odd emotional breakdown. I know he carries a lot of guilt and we're coming up on a hard time of year for him - I've suggested some alternative therapies for him and he's been open to the ideas, and admits that he could use some help (but won't ask for it). The one thing he refuses to do is counseling, which I have to respect.

    I'm OK with most of his issues and am happy to accomodate the quirks, wake him up from the nightmares. It's the breakdowns that get me - I'm just not sure what to say and don't want to say the wrong thing.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 26, 2008
    Posts
    1,073

    Default

    My husband has what the military called "Combat induced anxiety". I honestly feel they are just trying to NOT diagnosis PTSD. It's essentially the same from all my research.

    While he doesn't have nightmares and does function on a daily basis we have had our trials. He has been out of the service for 4 years ( recently received his discharge papers! Yay! No more Inactive Reserves!!!)

    When he came home he had NO emotions. I was not with him after his first tour but his second tour he lost friends/brothers, was involved in IED explosions, and numerous firefights.

    When he came home he shut everything off. Drank excessively and had no thoughts or feelings about me etc. It was VERY VERY hard. I didn't give up, I didn't treat him with baby gloves. I pushed him and pushed him until he got help and TRIED to get his life straight. ( I am not suggesting ANYONE do things that way BUT it was what he needed.) If I would have let him push me aside and forget me he would have never turned those emotions back on.

    The military failed to do a Psych evaluation when he returned home. They sent him for a year to 29 Palms as an instructor instead. ( they are supposed to be seen with in a month or so of returning.) a year and a half later during the discharge process they discovered this anxiety.....

    To this day we struggle with controlling excessive behavior. He has an addictive personality and a Superman complex ( Nothing can hurt him....that's what I have dubbed it!) I love him and he makes my life compete so it's worth it.

    He still has problems with crowded places and loud noises. Just this winter we were driving down a back road to the barn. There was an object in the middle of the road that I swerved around ( a log..) I never thought anything of it. His reaction was different. After he regained from his panic he told me he thought that it was an IED. Little things like that would NEVER occur to me.

    Anyways. While mine isn't as bad as some he certainly comes with his quirks If anyone needs to talk feel free to message me. I never lived on base so I never developed friendships with other Marine wives and therefore also have no one to talk too either.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Oregon
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nlk View Post
    He still has problems with crowded places and loud noises. Just this winter we were driving down a back road to the barn. There was an object in the middle of the road that I swerved around ( a log..) I never thought anything of it. His reaction was different. After he regained from his panic he told me he thought that it was an IED. Little things like that would NEVER occur to me.

    Anyways. While mine isn't as bad as some he certainly comes with his quirks If anyone needs to talk feel free to message me. I never lived on base so I never developed friendships with other Marine wives and therefore also have no one to talk too either.
    Try taking him to the local farm store when they are having "peanut days", where they give out free whole peanuts and everyone throws the shells on the concrete floor! That was a fun trip. Even though he could see the peanut shells and knew they were just peanut shells, every step on a shell was still prompting his brain to scream DANGER!

    nlk, it sounds like your husband and mine were in similar circumstances as far as deployment, it's too bad they are trying to avoid diagnosing the PTSD. If it's not too personal, I'm curious who he was with? Mr. Heinz was at Camp Pendleton with 2/4, spent nearly a year in Iraq (among other places), where he says he spent more time outside the wire than in. He is supposed to deploy to Afghanistan for a year in 2014 with the National Guard unit he signed up with this year.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,464

    Default

    Sorry to here about your man's struggles, Heinz. I remember him from your wedding pics and he looks like a good egg.

    You too insofar as you are happy to roll with the kind of coping he wants-- waking him up from nightmares and such. But his breakdowns are hard on you, you say. He won't do counseling, but can you ask him in a non-PTSD moment if he can think of anything he'd like from you while he is wigging out?

    I understand that some Big Galoots won't ask for help, so until that gets way out of hand and annoying, they might be able to take help that is offered.

    Also, does he have other buds who have experienced similar that he can talk to? That must be obvious, but has he (or you and he) cultivated these friendships?

    I wish you both the best.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    There's a place out West run by the military that is an old resort that is now used for couple's therapy in dealing with PTSD and post-military life. I don't remember the name of it but it comes highly recommended and I think it's something that would benefit you.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Oregon
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    Default

    I would be interested in finding out more about that, Lex. I'll see what sort of google-fu I have today, maybe I can dig something up.

    mvp, he is a good egg and he really tries. He didn't come from the greatest environment as a kid and as a result, doesn't have the healthiest coping skills, but he's learning. He does have a number of friends that have served and have PTSD, though in typical macho-man fashion, don't talk about it. The only friend of his I've actively spoken to about it is on medication for his PTSD. He does talk to his dad about it when things get bad - Dad is a Vietnam vet (a Forward Observer, no less) and knows what he's going through.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
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    Default

    Trained at a VA, married to a VN vet (Marine),lots of vet PTSD clients. Although there are similarities, combat related trauma really is different from other sorts of trauma. The VA where I trained, and the local vet center offers groups and support for spouses because its so important to get information, emotional support, and validation. There is a lot of info on the net about PTSD but not the same as actually connecting with another living person, particularly someone married to the USMC! That whole superman thing is SUCH a marine thing! and once a marine, ALWAYS a marine! I hope your husband goes to a vet center or a VA for at least an assessment to "see if there is any way" the VA could be helpful. The MDs there typically refer to a shrink pretty quickly.

    But really, connecting with other people in similar circumstances is very helpful for understanding HOW PTSD develops (not just exposure) and how it continues to be reinforced. People are not crazy; their reactions are normal responses to completely abnormal circumstances! But you are entitled tocare for yourself, really no other way to be helpful to someone! I hope things work out, and that you find some helpful information and connections!!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
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    Default

    Family members and work associates with PTSD from conflicts ranging from WWII to now.

    Best thing for most, not all, is support groups usually found with VA hospitals. You can PM me if you wish. My brother have found a purpose in life by helping his fellow service members run through the VA gauntlet. FYI - his support group has been a lifeline for him. Because no matter how much we love him and do our best to help, he can not share his thoughts and emotions with us like he can with those who were there.

    HUGS!
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2007
    Location
    Monroe, WA USA
    Posts
    229

    Default

    I'm married to a Vietnam vet. I met him after he came back so I didn't know what he was like beforehand. Like someone else mentioned, at a good time ask what he would like you to do when he's having a bad time. This helps a lot since you know you won't be doing the wrong thing.

    Counseling is really good. I couldn't get my husband to go until I went first. He kept telling me about all the problems I had so I went and found out I didn't really have any problems, it was just him projecting them onto me. When I told him what the counselor said, he decided to go. That helped a lot.

    Also time does help. He hardly has any nightmares any more and had them frequently the first 5-10 years we were married. They do taper off. He doesn't hit the ground at loud noises any more and is getting better in large crowds. He's an introvert anyway so that doesn't help.

    We've been married for 40 years now and he says he doesn't think he would have made it this long without my support. Made me feel good with that!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    Quote Originally Posted by fooler View Post
    no matter how much we love him and do our best to help, he can not share his thoughts and emotions with us like he can with those who were there.

    HUGS!
    Yep!



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