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Research shows PTSD has negative impact on family

Post-traumatic stress disorder can wreak havoc on every aspect of the lives of veterans.

According to “Partners of Veterans with PTSD: Research Findings,” an article the website of the Veterans Administration, this is especially true when it comes to family relationships. Alarmingly, these difficulties can, in turn, only make the PTSD worse.

“Research that has examined the effect of PTSD on intimate relationships reveals severe and pervasive negative effects on marital adjustment, general family functioning, and the mental health of partners,” the report states (http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treatment/family/partners_of_vets_research_findings.asp). “These negative effects result in such problems as compromised parenting, family violence, divorce, sexual problems, aggression, and caregiver burden.”

Male veterans with PTSD are more likely to report marital or relationship problems, higher levels of parenting problems, and generally poorer family adjustment than veterans without PTSD.”

The report goes on to note that those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are less expressive with their partners and less willing to disclose information about themselves and their feelings.

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“Related to impaired relationship functioning, a high rate of separation and divorce exists in the veteran population. Approximately 38 percent of Vietnam veteran marriages failed within six months of the veteran’s return from Southeast Asia. The overall divorce rate among Vietnam veterans is significantly higher than for the general population, and rates of divorce are even higher for Veterans with PTSD. The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study found that both male and female veterans without PTSD tended to have longer-lasting relationships with their partners than their counterparts with PTSD.”

The article goes on to suggest that partners of veterans suffering from PTSD should seek to gain as much understanding of the condition their loved on faces as possible.

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