PTSD-Kirsten Smith

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition generally thought of as something that only affects war veterans. Now we are finding out that might not necessarily be the case all of the time. It is quite plausible that PTSD can affect the families of traumatized veterans. Think, for example, about what it would be like having a spouse off at war. While away, you would probably miss your spouse and worry if they were ok quite often. Watching television or movies where you hear sounds of gunshots may trigger that worry for your spouse. Then after many months they come home a bit more desensitized than when they left. The war hardened spouse shares some stories about their experiences which worries you even more. The constant stress of worrying could be even more stressful than actually living the war. After knowing your spouse is back and alright, months of worries are stopped which could leave a void like quitting a bad habit. You can full-heartedly quit smoking, but something needs to fill that void and the easiest, although not the healthiest, thing to do would be to continue to do what you are used to. That constant worry could then manifest itself into PTSD. Although I am not a psychologist or doctor by any stretch, I think that it could be possible for family members to “catch” PTSD.

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