We are the company we keep. We pick up the habits of those with whom we spend extended periods of time. This assimilation ranges from diction to mannerisms. Sometimes, it yields positive results, like a procrastinator who becomes prompt and completes work ahead of time after spending much time with a go-getter. It will also occur with bad traits, like innocent child who is now constantly on edge, lashing out with little provocation after living with her PTSD affected parent.
Going to war is stressful enough for soldiers, having to be constantly aware of their surroundings, fearing that every moment could be their last, existing in a state of hypersensitivity for months to years at a time. Imagine the pains they experience, seeing their friends lose their lives firsthand, taking another human being’s life, surviving explosions and subsequently receiving concussions. Not only do their brains have to process these horrendous images, they now have to recuperate from the head trauma they have suffered, which can be fatal if severe enough. Then, abrubtly, they come home and have to readjust to civilian life. How anyone can is a miracle, how anyone deals with not being able to is a nightmare. PTSD is a living nightmare.
Between the hypervigilance, hyperawareness, and hypersensitivity, a PTSD affected vet appears hyperirrational. These vets live in constant terror and torment, fearful that a man on the other side of the planet could kill them at any moment. PTSD is like the flu, spend enough time around the infected, you are bound to show symptoms yourself, secondhand PTSD. They slowly lose the ability to function normally, without much hope that it will ever get better. Their happy homes dissolve into haunted houses.