PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.bratswithoutborders.org/
Veterans' Family Wellness Program
Focusing on military-related psychological trauma and its effects on the individual, the family and community, the Veterans Family Wellness Program is offered to the public at no cost.
Tension and anxiety can make family members of vets suffering from military-related psychological trauma feel like they're "walking on eggshells." Family members can start to feel helpless, hopeless, and isolated. They may even feel guilt and shame, resulting in resentment and bitterness over time. Children may start to display some of the symptoms of the PTSD parent, as "Secondary PTSD" sets in. Spouses and children can lose their own sense of self as all activities increasingly revolve around the needs of the PTSD vet.
You are not alone. The Veterans Family Wellness Program can help.
Part 1. Military Culture and the Warrior Spirit
To enter into the military is to experience a cultural transformation that is often poorly understood by a veteran’s friends and family. Often, the veteran is unable to articulate or even fully recognize the change. Intensive training in the military brings about this transformation, but preparation for the return to civilian life is minimal, resulting in culture shock for the vet and puzzlement for the family. This class attempts to communicate this enigma clearly to family members and friends, and is enhanced by input from veterans in the class who have experienced this problem.
Part 2. Post Traumatic Stress, Major Depression and Traumatic Brain Injury
This class covers the concept of psychological trauma and its effects on the individual. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the major reason that veterans seek help from Welcome Home Vets, and we discuss its psychological and physiological origins in layman’s terms. However, PTSD is not the only possible response to trauma, and we cover others, such as Major Depression and Panic Disorder. Although not a psychological problem per se, the neurologically based injury known as Traumatic Brain Injury results in psychological symptoms that can make PTSD diagnosis difficult; in fact, an individual can suffer from both. We discuss this disorder and its psychological aspects in the veteran.
Part 3. Alcohol, Drugs and Codependency
Many veterans who experienced post traumatic stress resort to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to cope. Unfortunately, this often leads to addiction and alcoholism, conditions which then become primary issues. Codependency is a concept that originated to describe the behaviors some people develop when living with an alcoholic or drug abuser. The concept also describes a learned pattern of behavior and problem solving that some people develop when living in any dysfunctional family or relationship. In this class, we explore codependency and encourage participants to share their personal experiences with codependency and how they overcame it (or are in the process of overcoming it). The class presents presents resources for dealing with all three issues.
Part 4. Medications and PTSD
There is no medication that will cure PTSD, but some medications can help manage the symptoms. Yet many veterans have either had a bad experience with meds or are fearful of ever trying them. We explore medications commonly used in treatment of PTSD, including effectiveness and possible side effects. Attendees are encouraged to discuss any medications they are taking that they do not fully understand.