About 70% of adults undergo at least one traumatic experience in their life. Additionally, 1 in 4 of those people eventually develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can result from any type of traumatic event, whether it happens once or is repetitive. The disorder affects all genders and can arise at any age. It’s no surprise that the risk of suffering PTSD is higher for those who work in military and emergency service fields. Unfortunately, many PTSD sufferers do not seek help or support, yet they are probably in a relationship or married. Nonetheless, whether treated or untreated, PTSD may have direct consequences on a person’s relationship and family.
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What’s the PTSD Divorce Rate?
PTSD takes a toll on many marriages, and the PTSD divorce rate is generally high. For instance, a 2005 Pentagon study showed that the divorce rate among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with PTSD rose to 78%.
People suffering from PTSD may showcase the following symptoms:
- Reliving the traumatic event: Any memory or trigger tends to make a PTSD sufferer emotionally or physically upset. Nightmares and flashbacks are a common occurrence
- Avoidance: The patient may stay away from places or persons that remind them of the traumatic experience
- Numbing: Many victims numb themselves with addictive substances like drugs and alcohol. Some victims also turn to gamble and pornography
- Anxiety: Irritability, startling easy, feeling on guard, and having a hard time relaxing are all common among PTSD patients
The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can bring problems with trust, intimacy, and communication, which can destroy the relationship. A PTSD spouse may feel isolated and frustrated by being unable to work through issues and help their partner. The other partner might feel hurt or helpless because of their spouse’s inability to get over the traumatic experience. That can eventually lead to feelings of anger or distance.
Anger outbursts, inappropriate impulses, as well as verbal and physical violence may occur. Naturally, that will lead to one spouse becoming fearful of their partner’s abusive behavior. Symptoms of the disorder may be so severe that a spouse can feel like they’re living in constant threat of danger.
Work and daily activities usually prove to be hard for PTSD sufferers, contributing to increased divorce and unemployment rates.
How to Reduce the PTSD Divorce Rate
While PTSD is a debilitating condition, it’s possible for sufferers to maintain or rebuild successful relationships. They can do so by:
- Attending individual and family therapy sessions regularly
- Opening up and being honest about how they feel
- Showing respect and compassion to their spouses
- Learning and practicing proper communication and problem-solving skills
- Acknowledging the fun things in life
- Learning relaxation techniques and integrating them into everyday life
- Taking medication accordingly, if prescribed
- Staying away from alcohol, drugs, excessive gambling, pornography, and other addictive behaviors
Treatment is vital for post-traumatic stress disorder. Both counseling and medications have successfully helped to treat patients with PTSD.
While it’s possible to overcome challenges and reignite a relationship, not all marriages are salvageable. If you’re considering a divorce for whatever reason, a qualified lawyer can help. The attorneys at Alliance Law Group are qualified and experienced in all matters relating to divorce.