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AUD in Veterans, PTSD in Veterans, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), PTSD in Veterans,

How PTSD in Veterans Impacts Their Families

By on Aug 23, 2023 in Blog, PTSD, Veterans & Military

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) changes lives. It occurs when someone faces traumatic experiences that continue to impact them, often in very intense ways, for years to come. While PTSD is a very personal battle, it also impacts family and loved ones of those who suffer from it. 

Veterans, who are at high risk for struggling with PTSD, often need professional treatment, especially if they are using drugs and alcohol to combat the trauma-inspired thoughts and feelings. If you have a Veteran in your life battling addiction and PTSD, our team at Victory Addiction Recovery Center can help.

There’s another piece of this puzzle to consider, though. That’s the impact of PTSD and addiction on you, the concerned family member.

What Family Members Experience Matters, Too

Having a loved one who is battling a painful past is not simple to manage. Even if it doesn’t impact you every day, PTSD is a condition that affects families.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shares that PTSD, often coupled with addiction, impacts people in various ways:

  • How families are impacted: Families of those with PTSD are faced with a constant feeling of walking on eggshells. A sudden noise can cause an intense outburst. Many people avoid social situations because of the tension that can develop. Listening to a loved one battle nightmares every night isn’t easy to do either. 
  • How children are impacted: Children of parents who have PTSD may develop their own trauma. Children may learn that this is the normal way to deal with stress and fear.

When alcohol or drugs are used to try to make those symptoms less impactful, the trauma to family members, especially children, can be even more intense. What’s more, family members may have no idea what to do to “fix” the problem. 

That often leads to one of a couple of outcomes:

  • A child learns that using substances is a normal and expected coping mechanism, which encourages them to follow the same path.
  • A child grows up in fear of the parent, who may be unpredictable in their moods and behaviors. 
  • Family relationships are taxed, and some may fail when family members just cannot continue to struggle through the pain.
  • Family members who do not have PTSD may turn to substances as well, to help them escape the intensity of their situation.
  • Life feels and becomes limited. You may feel as though you’re trapped, unable to break free, and doomed to suffer.

If you are dealing with a loved one who has addiction and PTSD, know that treatment is available for them – and for you.

Find out what can happen in just four weeks of addiction treatment. Use these facts as a good starting point for convincing your loved one to get into treatment.

Now, consider what to do about your own pain and struggles.

How to Get Help as a Family Member

If your veteran has PTSD, addiction, or other mental health disorders, you have the ability to step away. If you are being hurt in any way, leave. It is not brave, wise, or required for you to continue to remain there to help them.

Instead, focus on you.

  • Get into a family treatment center, like our family care program. It empowers you to help your loved one but also provides resources for your own mental health.
  • Recognize that you may be dealing with PTSD-like symptoms yourself. Work with a therapist to learn what this means to you and how it may be impacting your life.
  • Talk to friends, family, and others about what you’re facing. Starting the conversation is really hard, but it nearly always opens the doors for healing.

By putting some time into getting help for yourself, you can be the person you deserve and want to be. We can help you.

Let Our Team Help You Today

There are steps you can take if your loved one is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Take care of them, but also let us help you. Contact Victory Addiction Recovery Center in Lafayette, LA, to learn about your options. Your future can be vastly different if you invest the time in yourself. 

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