PTSD: National Center for PTSD
Effects of PTSD
"If you have a family, [PTSD] becomes a family issue when family members start taking it on."
U.S. Army, 1966-1969
Effects of PTSD
PTSD includes a range of symptoms that can have an effect on family members. When someone has PTSD, their ability to function as a parent or partner can be impacted, and changes in their functioning can lead to unmet family needs and increased stress within the family. This section provides information about the effects of PTSD and trauma on families, children, and relationships.
- Effects of PTSD on families
PTSD can make somebody hard to live with. Living with someone who is easily startled, has nightmares, and/or avoids social situations can take a toll on the most caring family members. Research on PTSD has shown the harmful impact of PTSD on families.
- When a child's parent has PTSD
A parent's PTSD symptoms can directly affect their children. This section describes how a caregiver's PTSD symptoms impact children and outlines some of the common problems experienced by children of Veterans or other adults with PTSD. This section also provides recommendations for how to cope with these difficulties.
RelationshipsTrauma survivors with PTSD may have trouble with their close family relationships or friendships. The symptoms of PTSD can cause problems with trust, closeness, communication, and problem solving which, in turn, may impact the way a loved one responds to the trauma survivor.
Read about the circular pattern that may develop which can sometimes harm close family relationships.
Military families often deal with unique cycles of stress associated with deployments and may struggle to know how to cope with changes in the family or their deployed loved one. This section provides information for families who may be experiencing difficulties resulting from military deployments.
- Partners of Veterans with PTSD
PTSD can affect how couples get along with each other. It can also directly affect the mental health of partners. This section describes common problems in relationships where one or both partners has PTSD and outlines basic information about how to help couples facing these problems.
- How deployment stress affects families
This section explains how deployment of a Service member to a combat zone can be extremely challenging for a family.
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