I see approximately 15 combat-veterans a week. Interestingly, this group includes mostly Veterans from the Vietnam War. They have taught me a lot about the “Vietnam War” as well as, about the disease called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or more commonly known as PTSD! In my opinion, this is one of the most disabling and misunderstood diseases treated by Psychiatrist. It is important to recognize that everyone may not be able to treat Veterans. There has to be a certain level of sensitivity and understanding. After all, many of the Veterans will want to know you if you have served your country.
In my opinion, it is very important to listen to each Veteran with an open-mind and open-heart. These men and women have a lot of information to share and experienced some very intense “combat experiences.” Their experiences should never be taken for granted because they secured our present day freedom.
How do I recognize PTSD? Here are a couple of pointers just for you;
- Does your spouse/lover wake-up drenched with sweat in the middle of the night?
- Is your husband very paranoid about going outside of he home?
- Are their loaded guns placed in several different places in your home?
- Does you husband prefer to be alone in the bunker, I mean basement most days all day?
- Can your husband be very nasty and irritable most days during the week?
- Does your husband look like he is experiencing “flashbacks” in the middle of the day?
- Does your husband fight you in the middle of the night because of bad dreams?
- Is he drinking a little more than you would like?
- Is he a perpetrator of road-rage?
- Does he usually Avoid being around people?
If you husband is experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, and experienced a “life-changing trauma” while in-service, he/she may have PTSD. These symptoms are present in Gulf, Afghanistan and the Iraq war veterans, also.
If you think that this disorder is present in your spouse or lover, you should take them immediately to your primary care provide or the VAMC. This is important because this disease can lead to other co-morbid diseases and illness that can be deadly.
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