In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Divorcing the War

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 8, 2008

It should not be surprising to learn from this article that when President Bush extended deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan last year from 12 months to 15, it strained young families, particularly marriages, even more than they were already. In fact, the divorce rate has risen since then amongst families with deployed members. And it’s not simply because they’re away. No. More importantly to understand, it’s because they come home from being in the war zone for so long with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which causes thema whole host of emotional and physical problems, making it very difficult not only to function in a marriage, but in society as well, including working, and making friends. They may also be depressed, anxious, angry and not sure that being home is even what they want. For the spouse, who’d been excited to have them home this is a rude awakening. No-one was prepared for this. There is little support for these families despite the military doing it’s best during war time. Divorce may follow. No-one talks about this side of the war, do they? The long-term impact on an entire generation of young American families. We should be talking about it before going to the voting booths in November.

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