Ms.Vicki Chill & Chat: Getting Help
Dear Ms. Vicki
How can we as wives tell when our husbands will need counseling when they get home from deployment, and what are the major signs? I feel like eventually my husband will need the help. Some men don’t want the help, especially infantry Soldiers.
– A Military Wife
You are absolutely correct. Many men do not reach out for help particularly those who serve in combat units. However, I have seen an increase in Soldiers reaching out for counseling in the form of individual, group and family counseling. Many military hospitals are doing a great job with implementing family-centered care. First off, don’t jump the gun or become riddled with fear of the unknown. However, it’s good to be concerned and to be educated about combat stress and post traumatic stress. Redeployment will be an adjustment for both of you. Reintegration will not take place over night. Some symptoms will be normal given the situation. When my husband returned, he did not sleep through the night and sometimes he appeared to be jumpy and easily startled. However, he was only sleeping maybe four hours a night when he was downrange and oftentimes he wasn’t in a bed. He was adjusting to life at home. Here are some symptoms to be aware of: continued sleeping difficulties, nightmares, anxiety, depression and increased agitation. For these I would seek professional help immediately. These are a few, but there are others. Some symptoms may never occur, but many surface after the first 90-100 days. As a country I think we are trying to do a better job of erasing the stigma of mental health and those who seek service, but we still have some miles to travel. Many service men and women of all ranks are receiving services at this time. They are not weak, and they are not losers. To the contrary it makes them winners. Thanks for writing in and being concerned about your husband. I hope this helps. Continue to take care of yourself.
Hi! My name is Ms. Vicki and I’m a native of Dallas. I’m married to an active-duty Soldier and we have three sons. I’ve always had a gift for giving quick advice and steering people in the right direction. I have a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville and I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I provide services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping, etc. Find out more at my website.