Families get tips for dealing with combat stress
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  1. #1

    Exclamation Families get tips for dealing with combat stress

    October 10, 2006
    Families get tips for dealing with combat stress

    By Karen Jowers
    Staff writer

    Families still want more information about recognizing problems related to combat stress, when to get help and how to get it.

    With about 15 percent to 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan displaying some combat stress issues within 90 to 120 days, Army and Defense Department officials have been working to identify those issues and help soldiers.

    At a family forum sponsored Tuesday in Washington at the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army, a participant said she had heard from women whose husbands had written them frequent love letters, saying they couldn’t wait to get home. Yet when the soldiers returned, they were withdrawn, and even left their wives in some cases.

    Sylvia Kidd, director of family programs for AUSA, said families have told her they’ve gone to chaplains with concerns about their soldiers, and were told, “Give him some space.”

    “But when the soldier has cleaned out the bank account and left, that may be too much space,” Kidd said.

    Most chaplains know what to look for in terms of mental health issues, and know when to get that soldier or family member to another professional for help, one chaplain responded.

    One resource for family members as well as soldiers is a program called “Battlemind.” During the 45-minute training, soldiers see a video with examples of behaviors, like a soldier snapping at his son who had asked him to shoot some hoops. The training also talks about issues such as using alcohol to go to sleep or to calm down.

    It explains what behaviors are natural, and “gives permission for them to notice it’s becoming a problem,” said Army psychiatrist Col. Charles Milliken.

    Milliken also encourages troops and their spouses to download the program — designed for them to watch together — at www.battlemind.org.

    For those with questions who prefer to seek help outside the chain of command, Military OneSource provides someone to talk to 24 hours a day, toll-free, at (800) 342-9647; or online at www.militaryonesource.com.

    Ellie

    Last edited by thedrifter; 01-03-07 at 07:18 AM.
    IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
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  2. #2

    Unfortunately

    Unfortunately alot of these young men coming home refuse to admit they might have a problem. The trick is to convince them to seek the help they need. Cyndy


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Momof2Marines
    Unfortunately alot of these young men coming home refuse to admit they might have a problem. The trick is to convince them to seek the help they need. Cyndy
    ---and the "help" will do what?


  4. #4
    Sorry Greensideout, sounds like I've offended you. I know our country did not support our Viet Nam vets. As a Marine Mom, with a son who is an Iraq Veteran. I can see how he has changed. He will not discuss, any issues. I know he does talk about Iraq with his fellow Marines. I really don't know what help will do or if it will help at all.
    Thank you for your comment.

    Cyndy


  5. #5
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    Hey my son as you know just came back..from the front.. and when they come back from the front.. they trust no one ..becouse they spend 7 months protecting their lifes..there camarads ..surviving ..and having adrenaline rice every singleday of there days over there.. bottyes get use to that ..is like pain pealls ..if you take one to get read of the pain ones in a wille is o.k. ..but if you use them every day ..3 for times a day to get read of what ever disconfort you botty may have you get addicted to it and then in the long run .. you need more dossasge ..!!! my point is having your adrenaline riece every day is being in stress and your hearth is pomping fast and fast everyday.. now ..they come home .. they do not know how to passify their hearth beats, how to focus and calm thier sistem down..!!! Runing is one ..!!

    Marines tink we mothers and family ..do not understand what they go trew over there.. and only among them ..they talk about it ..!!! it is only trust ..they are laking of that at the moment .. !!! and I guess is necesary to let them know we will say noting or ask noting till they ready to talk ..!!! to let them know we care ..becouse ..we where there first in there life's and they trust us in the past ..!! noting to me is esse ..to me everiting is diferent and as he keep growing and growing ..I am just analizing my self first and my son .. I am staburn as a bull.. and I get frustraded of my son changes.. but as long as he doesent do anithing wrong to destroy hem self or others.. I will be supervising and gainig my sons trust again..I do not need to do dat .. but he doesent se me as hes mother any more.. I am a Civilian ..!!! I have the mentality of a Civilian..!!! so I will let hem know that I am hes Civilian mother ..and he cud trust me again...!!! Do not know how but I know how to read .. may not know how to right perfectly .. but I am learning .. and reading and leasining to others help me .. to help hem or just to stand behind and let hem be ..!! I whant a good relationship with my son so I have to fight back ..the demons and the conflicts ..they bring back ..!!! if I have to do anithing to help hem if is necesary if not .. then like he say do not showk me right now.. he is Bold as hell.. but ..!!! dat is who he is right now..he will bring hes sensitivness back again ..but right now ..he is bold..!!!! I am a mother and I am very sensitive to any bad answer .. and I tink and say ..you do not love me anymore ..!! and tings like dat .. I am a girl a mother and woman or from venus man are from mars ..!!!! and even if hes my son it aplyes to..!!! I do not know what I am going to do whit hes changes and hes boldness .. but I am not lossing my son..I stay .. and I will crye by my self and scream and ask for help ..!!!! and dat is all I am hable to do for now. this is my opinnion and I stand behind my son..no matter what .. we all doo .. like you say momof2marines :

    There are many marine like hem ..but this one is mine ..!!!!

    Thank you

    Ladymimi


  6. #6
    I know this isn't my place... But out of respect, please capitalize 'Marines'. I won't even mention the other gramatical errors. Might I suggest this for you?

    http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=29048


  7. #7
    Young man.....before you start correcting somebody else...square away yourself with your own grammatical errors.Not gramatical!

    I know this isn't my place
    Well Sherlock the Grammar.....if you know it's not your place why did you post? DUH!


  8. #8
    My apologies.


  9. #9
    Marine Free Member Riven37's Avatar
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    Ah

    Quote Originally Posted by Momof2Marines
    Sorry Greensideout, sounds like I've offended you. I know our country did not support our Viet Nam vets. As a Marine Mom, with a son who is an Iraq Veteran. I can see how he has changed. He will not discuss, any issues. I know he does talk about Iraq with his fellow Marines. I really don't know what help will do or if it will help at all.
    Thank you for your comment.

    Cyndy

    Cyndy, do you expect your son to open up to you the way he done before this war began. If your answer is yes, it will never happen. He is no longer that little boy you once knew. War changes all men that other's can't understand. The best you can do for your son is support him, love him, but ask no questions because its his memories not yours, and you don't have the right to those memories. Just be there for him as his mother.


  10. #10
    You are right Riven37. I definately have supported, and will continue to support my son.
    Thank you for your advice.

    Cyndy
    VPMM Randy and Jerry


  11. #11
    I'm a caregiver for a Vietnam Veteran here's what helped him.

    Get him or her out of the house as much as possible.
    Communication is extremely important.
    In the mornings ask them how they slept, what dreams did they have.
    Stay away from other Military people and places.
    Keep them busy.
    Don't dwell on the past, move forward in life.
    Don't watch the news or war movies.
    Keep all VA/Dr. appointments and make sure they take there med's.
    Loneliness is the enemy.

    As the caregiver it's up to you to be very upbeat and positive at all times.
    Stay active, my thoughts are with you.


  12. #12

    Combat stress

    Thank you for the advice. My son and his wife moved to Texas. He is doing really well. He has a job that he likes and seems to be moving forward. He is thinking of going reserves. Once a Marine always a Marine.

    Thank you again

    Cyndy

    PMM of Randy and Jerry


  13. #13
    I'm a caregiver for a Vietnam Veteran here's what helped him.

    Get him or her out of the house as much as possible.
    Communication is extremely important.
    In the mornings ask them how they slept, what dreams did they have.
    Stay away from other Military people and places.
    Keep them busy.
    Don't dwell on the past, move forward in life.
    Don't watch the news or war movies.
    Keep all VA/Dr. appointments and make sure they take there med's.
    Loneliness is the enemy.

    As the caregiver it's up to you to be very upbeat and positive at all times.
    Stay active, my thoughts are with you.
    If a military member that has been to combat is asked by a person that has not been there and done that there could possibly be detrimental consequences for the one doing the asking.......the first step is to build trust.

    Even if one is family it is very hard to open up and tell what a dream or nightmare was about. Naturally if that dream or nightmare turns violent for the one in the room then it is time to seek more help. If the person having nightmare wants to share that is one thing...to ask is making a mistake and can set the treated/untreated individual off again which can be potentially dangerous for ALL involved.

    If a person with PTSD want to avoid a military installation or military personnel then that is one thing....to stipulate that they stay away from military personnel and installations again can be fruitless...the decision should be there own unless they are institutionalized and under heavy medication...... some people with PTSD would rather be in a place where there are others that have "been there...done that."

    Controlled isolation is a lifesaver and a good thing.....it is only the enemy when isolation brings intrusive thoughts or feelings of self harm or homicidal tendencies. Isolation can be a good thing when you need to be away from your surrondings...as long as you stay in touch... to face reality.

    The things you listed may work for that veteran.....which is a good thing.

    PTSD is personalized.There are books and treatment centers...but not every text book or surroundings works for every individual. The basis for the DSM is a psychiatric guideline. To be diagnosed with PTSD/Combat related the individual must meet certain guidelines...but treatment is life long and can vary with each case and individual...as all similar medical problems are related but treatment may vary for each person to get what is right.Some medical problems can be treated and cured...

    PTSD is to the grave.

    For each individual it is a different cross to bear and in daily life only doing what is necessary for today is paramount....sort of like the AA saying,"One day at a time!"


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Riven37 View Post
    Cyndy, do you expect your son to open up to you the way he done before this war began. If your answer is yes, it will never happen. He is no longer that little boy you once knew. War changes all men that other's can't understand. The best you can do for your son is support him, love him, but ask no questions because its his memories not yours, and you don't have the right to those memories. Just be there for him as his mother.
    Just a thought to acknowledge the above response...

    On my second ... maybe third date with my husband ... knowing that he was a Vietnam Vet (Army) I asked him about his experience. He only told me about the day he was drafted (his birthday was #12) and that he "worked with explosives" ... and quite adamantly said that the rest was "behind him and he doesn't think about it ........"

    We met and were married in our early 30's and basically 10 years had passed since he had been home from the Vietnam War. I've never ever asked him a direct question about his experience since that night, but over the 26 years he has slowly shared his thoughts, memories and pain ... on his own. He has never talked to his immediate family about Vietnam and I have to admit sometimes it baffled me as how that time period in my husband's life just didn't seem "to exist" to them. Just now with her grandson being a Marine has my mother-in-law talked to my husband about his service. He told me that after telling his mom about the Veterans Day parade we attended she told him he should be proud of his service ... and buy a hat that says he is a Vietnam vet. It may sound silly but I know that her saying that made him feel really good.

    But I think I completely understand what Riven37 is saying and I think it is overall good and realistic advice. I'll be there for my son ... just like I've always been.

    BTW ... about that hat. I've asked my husband about getting himself a hat/baseball cap and right now he says "no." He has several caps that proclaim that his son is a U.S. Marine and MAW and Scarface hats .... and he says he'll buy one for himself later ... but that right now he is supporting his son.

    I've read what Riven said several time over now ... it's in my head for good.

    Last edited by foreverproud; 01-30-10 at 11:18 AM. Reason: spelling

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedrifter View Post
    October 10, 2006
    Families get tips for dealing with combat stress

    By Karen Jowers
    Staff writer

    Families still want more information about recognizing problems related to combat stress, when to get help and how to get it.

    With about 15 percent to 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan displaying some combat stress issues within 90 to 120 days, Army and Defense Department officials have been working to identify those issues and help soldiers.

    At a family forum sponsored Tuesday in Washington at the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army, a participant said she had heard from women whose husbands had written them frequent love letters, saying they couldn’t wait to get home. Yet when the soldiers returned, they were withdrawn, and even left their wives in some cases.

    Sylvia Kidd, director of family programs for AUSA, said families have told her they’ve gone to chaplains with concerns about their soldiers, and were told, “Give him some space.”

    “But when the soldier has cleaned out the bank account and left, that may be too much space,” Kidd said.

    Most chaplains know what to look for in terms of mental health issues, and know when to get that soldier or family member to another professional for help, one chaplain responded.

    One resource for family members as well as soldiers is a program called “Battlemind.” During the 45-minute training, soldiers see a video with examples of behaviors, like a soldier snapping at his son who had asked him to shoot some hoops. The training also talks about issues such as using alcohol to go to sleep or to calm down.

    It explains what behaviors are natural, and “gives permission for them to notice it’s becoming a problem,” said Army psychiatrist Col. Charles Milliken.

    Milliken also encourages troops and their spouses to download the program — designed for them to watch together — at www.battlemind.org.

    For those with questions who prefer to seek help outside the chain of command, Military OneSource provides someone to talk to 24 hours a day, toll-free, at (800) 342-9647; or online at www.militaryonesource.com.

    Ellie






    Ahhhh, I hope that doesnt happen. ood chance it will though. Thank you for posting this though, it made me more prepared for when he gets home.


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