Having and experiencing PTSD is no fun. Who really wants to relieve traumatic/dramatic events in their lives which have left a very large emotional (and sometimes physical scar) in their lives. I know that I don’t. And so what to do?
Now, I don’t claim to be a Veteran, but my husband is and so I have some experience with living with someone I love dearly who has PTSD. Also, it doesn’t help that I, too, have “issues” due to my personal disability, which is Aspergers. But, this particular blog is not about me, but about whether Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is helpful in dealing with the emotional, as well as physical, components of the Veteran with PTSD.
According to ptsdabout.com, in an article written by Dr. Mathew Tull, “CBT is often used to help people with their PTSD, as well as a number of other psychological problems.”
So what exactly is cognitive-behavioral therapy? Again, Dr. Tull tells us that: “A cognitive-behavioral treatment is one that is based on the idea that psychological problems arise as a result of the way in which we interpret or evaluate situations, thoughts, and feelings, as well as our behaviors.”
Well, that is all well and good, but does it work? I believe that it depends on four things:
1) The patient’s willingness to work with the therapist.
2) The quality of the therapist and his working knowledge and skill in working with veteran’s with PTSD and their families.
3) Is the patient comfortable with the therapist’s approach to CBT and PTSD? (Be sure to get referrals from other patients and check BBB ((it couldn’t hurt)))
4)Understand that it will take time and alot of work to get better.
In March of 2014 the VA began a study entitled “PTSD: Exposure versus Cognitive Therapy.” As to their findings, I believe that they have either not finished their study, or have not gotten the approval to post their findings as of yet. Whatever, the important thing to remember is it is your mind, your feelings, your body, your family and your PTSD. Therefore, it is ultimately up to you to find a therapist you can work with so you can move forward.
The marriage vow “…to love, honor and obey…”, is not exactly easy for us to obey. Especially when our very loved military/former military spouse comes home with a TBI or PTSD. That threw my starry-eye vision of love/laughter/rainbows and joy into a bit of confusion and martial turmoil. But, you know, knowledge is power and understanding what has happened to change the love-of-my-life can make a big difference in the re-building a marriage.
Here is a link to an article entitled, Marriage Tips for PTSD $ TBI Families, which gives some very good suggestions to help bridge that gap of “what the heck happened to my husband” to “this will take awhile to get it right, but we can make this marriage work!”
Ever on the lookout for ways to help our warriors/husbands/wives/veterans/active military, etc., I recently popped on the website of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and thought I would share it with you as it’s goal is to – > ” support(s) the military’s Special Operations Forces and their families through three programs:
- College scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces
- Educational & family counseling, and advocacy support
- Immediate $3,000 financial grants to severely-wounded Special Operations Forces service members
Does this interest you or spouse? If so, please log onto http://www.specialops.org/ for more information.
PTSD is no fun, as many of you military wives and husbands know. Focus on the Family’s, Pres. Jim Daily wrote a really great blog entitled, How Couples Can Work Through PTSD, as well as some great links that can really help with some other questions you might have. Just check it out. Okay?
I’d love to hear your feedback.
I thought this might be some interest for you Veterans who are having a difficult time getting help from the VA. Below is an excerpt from the announcement from the VA about this new program and a link to the article.
“Many Veterans will now have the option to receive non-VA health care rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.
Beginning November 5, 2014, the new Choice Program will begin to cover non-VA care for eligible Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans are eligible if any of these situations apply to you…” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
It is the silences I remember most. The feeling that even though we could touch each other and loved each other, but we have difficulty really talking to each other. If you, too, are having problems communicating with your loved one, check out this website: http://www.poweroftwomarriage.com/info/how-to-communicate-with-your-spouse/
Now I am not saying that you need to take the course they are obviously selling, but the communication suggestions listed on this webpage are quite good, such as:
“Now, there’s a recording in your head of how your parents and the other grownups in your life interacted. That recording forms the foundation — it’s the default setting — for how you are likely to talk, fight, or withdraw from your spouse as a grown-up. How your spouse’s family talked—or didn’t talk—is the most likely source for your spouse’s default model for communication in marriage as well.
If this makes sense to you, check out the link and be sure to view the videos included on the site. They are fun and informative.
I know first hand how a loved ones personality can change after a TBI. It is like they are different, yet the same. Strangely enough you can see the difference in their eyes as well as their mannerisms. Yet, should someone who has experienced TBI and suffers from depression be given anti-depressants? Should they see a doctor while taking these medication? Should they be receiving counseling as well?
Here is advice about TBI and meds by Dr. Brian Greenwald.
Having a husband leave once again for deployment is tough. However, as Ellie Kay writes in her July 2014 blog entitled, Deployments and Random Acts of Emotion, having your son or daughter enlisting and being deployed sets off an avalanche of emotion and sometimes heartache. Ellie writes, “… sending a family member away to a deployment is a different situation entirely and even though I may not sob buckets of tears, these deep seeded emotions have a way of bubbling to the surface like the tar in the La Brea Tar Pits.” Click here to read more from Ellie’s blog.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit geared
to serve veterans/service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound(s) , co-incident to their military service (and their families) on or after September 11, 2001.
The purpose of the Wounded Warrior Project as stated on their website is:”To help warriors make the most of their benefits and successfully transition to life after injury, the Wounded Warrior Project provides warriors with the tools they need to become financially secure.”
Unlike traditional models of veterans’ services the Wounded Warrior Project identifies the warrior’s individual needs and provides economic empowerment. The Wounded Warrior’s Project Benefits Service team ensures that warriors and their families have information and access to government benefits, as well as a full range of programs and the community resources necessary for a successful transition for the warrior (and his/her family) to life after injury.
A key part of the Wounded Warrior Project: to advise warriors of their benefits, along with information on how to access those services through the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).