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.
Memories, so hard to stop them flooding my mind when I am trying to sleep at night. I try to quiet their persistent noise in my head with telling myself to relax. Fortunately, for myself, I have discovered the benefit of using “white noise” which in my case is a fan that I switch on at night to help me sleep on those “my brain won’t stop thinking nights.
Sadly, being able to sleep and stop the thoughts is not so easy for many of our troops. Here is an article that addresses that issue.
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!”