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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Effects of PTSD

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Effects of PTSD

PTSD includes a range of symptoms that can effect 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.

Families

  • 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 are directly linked to their child's responses. This section describes how 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.

Relationships

Trauma 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.

  • Relationships
    Read about the circular pattern can develop that may sometimes harm close family relationships.

Military Families

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 Servicemember to a combat zone can be extremely challenging for a family.

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Watch this video on the best treatments for PTSD.

Get help for PTSD

If you need help right away:

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PTSD Information Voice Mail:
(802) 296-6300
ncptsd@va.gov
Also see: VA Mental Health