Is It Possible for Military Spouses to Get PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition which can develop after someone is exposed to trauma. This can include events not experienced by a person, but to a person close to them. A person does not have to experience the trauma themselves to develop the symptoms of PTSD. How can this occur?

PTSD Therapy Options

Military spouses can develop PTSD by:

  • Hearing the traumatic stories of their spouses or partners.
  • Viewing violent military combat on television while a partner is deployed or soon after.
  • Having feelings that they are unable to separate themselves from the stress of their military partner.
  • Being unable to communicate with a deployed partner or spouse or locate them for a time.

Military spouses can also develop PTSD unrelated to the military but from events in their past including severe injuries, sexual assault, child abuse, or other previous traumatic experiences. The military stress can then trigger the PTSD at a later time.

PTSD is common. The National Institutes of Health estimates over seven million people in the United States suffer from PTSD at any time. A study performed in 2011 found that over 21 percent of military spouses could be qualified for a PTSD diagnosis. Some spouses felt their stress was due directly from their partner’s deployment, while a larger percentage felt it was due to other causes or a previous trauma.

Spouses can be subject to PTSD if they become socially isolated from others while waiting for their partners to return from deployment. This isolation can heighten their anxiety and create the conditions favorable for PTSD. Spouses must also be sensitive to their children, as this anxiety is not isolated only to adults, but can create PTSD symptoms in children as well.

The mission of Operation Rubix is to provide therapy options for our local veterans and their families. We offer a variety of treatments so our veterans can find a process and provider they find comfortable and effective. We offer both therapy and legal experts to help our veterans and families deal with the maze of regulations and the stress of military service and its aftermath. You don’t need to be alone — contact Operation Rubix today.

Sarasota County Veterans | Bradenton Veteran Family Therapy


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