Tag Archives: Resources

028 – The Impact of PTSD on the Family

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CouplePorblems David Castillo Dominici FDPThe Impact of PTSD on the Family

In this episode we discuss:

  • Secondary traumatization
  • Ways families respond to stress (and Post-Traumatic Stress)
  • Two key areas of stress for the family
  • Resources for the family

The family’s response to increased stress: (In part based on Kerr & Bowen, 1988)

  1. Grow distant from each other
  2. One will take on the traditional role of another member of the family.
  3. An individual may sacrifice themselves for the sake of “peace”
  4. Conflict
  5. Adapt, bond together and grow

Two significant problem areas the anger outbursts and emotional numbing

Anger outbursts 

  • May be verbal or physical
  • Not necessarily directed at spouse or children
  • Aggression may have been adaptive and appropriate during war
  • Fear and guilt both past and present are foundations of anger
  • May lead to the family members developing maladaptive coping skills
  • See more an anger in “Healing The Wounds of War” episodes: 1314, and 15)

Emotional Numbing

  • Isolation for social situations and from family members
  • My become more withdrawn after anger outburst – fear of again losing control
  • Seems unable to experience the good emotions
  • Fears experiencing the “bad” emotions associated with the past
  • May adopt an authoritarian way of dealing with family members

Survivor guilt can make it difficult to connect with family.

Resources for Family Support

  • NAMI.org (National Alliance on Mental Illness: Family-to-Family peer support) This group offers peer support for mental problems of many kinds. They offer a 12 session class at no cost.  It is not necessarily specific to PTSD, but many of the family coping skills needed cross boundaries.  Classes are offered around the country.  Check out their website for more information.
  • MilitaryOnesource.mil (for military members and their families) or you can call 800-342-9647
  • ptsd.va.gov/public/web-resources/web-families.asp (A good place to start for veterans and their family members)

More references

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici on freedigitalphoto.net

016 – Six Things YOU can do to help someone dealing with PTSD

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You can make a difference!  You do not have to be a doctor, psychologist, clergy or other professional to make a difference in the life of someone with PTSD.

We are not helpless when it come to helping ourselves of helping others dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  We do not have to face our own PTSD alone and we do not have to face the PTSD of our loved one alone.

Below is a brief list of things that I have found helpful in dealing with PTSD in my own life and helping others in my role as a Chaplain, Pastor and a friend.

1. Educate yourself

Useful Books:    (share what books have help you in our comments section)

  • On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Loren W. Christenson
  • Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character, Jonathan Shay
  • War and the Soul, Edward Tick
  • After the Trauma the Battle Begins, Nigel W.D. Mumford

A few web resources:

2. Accept this reality
3. Have reasonable expectation of both them and yourself
4. Establish boundaries (physical abuse is always over the line)
5. Be willing and prepared to listen. (Know your limits: boundaries and expectations)
6. Be willing and prepared to join them in their journey. 

Some Other Lists:

 Question of the Week: What books/resources have you found helpful?

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