UNDERSTANDING AND TREATING POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER SYMPTOMS IN FEMALE PARTNERS OF VETERANS WITH PTSD

Authors


  • Briana S. Nelson, MS, is a Doctoral Student in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1162.

  • David W. Wright, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the School of Family Studies and Human Services, Justin Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-1403.

  • The authors would like to thank Candyce Russell, Richard Miller, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

Abstract

Studies of post-traumatic stress disorder have focused primarily on veterans, generally ignoring their female partners (wives or girlfriends). recently, clinicians have begun to identify PTSD-like symptoms in these female partners, but the literature describing this phenomenon has been limited. This paper addresses the fact that women in long-term relationships with veterans suffering from PTSD commonly experience PTSD-like psychiatric symptoms themseoves. These wonem's symptoms and issues they face in their relationships with their veteran partners are described. Conceptual explanations of and causal factors for these women's symptoms are presented, followed by discussion of treatment approaches and issues.

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