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August 21st, 2009
10:22 AM ET

The War at Home: Military family stress

This week in our special series "The War at Home," we've seen how difficult it can be to make the transition back home after months, and in some cases years, on the battlefield.

We're starting to see the stress of long and repeated deployments reflected in the military divorce rate. CNN's Kiran Chetry had the chance to meet one couple whose marriage was pushed to the breaking point.

Filed under: Military • The War at Home
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ros Rodriguez

    Don’t give up! Was the last phrase on the video. It is easier to say it than to play it for some one who is traumatized.
    Deployment traumatizes the soldier and the family in different ways. The one that goes and shoot to save his life some times is in better mental position that the spouse who stays at home. Every body has traumas stacked during the years of life, but only one event could trigger disaster.
    Separation in war is a dramatic and traumatic event for the whole family.
    The wife has to deal with her issue and the children’s issues and learns to deal with that alone. When the husband comes back she is already used to manage her life by herself but the husband claims his role and conflicts arises to worsen the problem. The children only accept commands from Mom and are afraid of Dad because he could have killed people out there.
    To make things more difficult, very few people in this situation believe that there is hope for them, because they blame the partner to have a problem and exonerate themselves. Traumas keep the brain from performing well because depletes its power that leads to depression and anxiety what disable the control of clear thoughts. Analytical power goes down and communication becomes critical.
    The system calls for therapy, antidepressants and hope. Don’t give up!
    Very few has been said to go to the origin of the problem which is the clutter of traumas that every one has in his own brain. Traditional therapy is based in words but a traumatized person hears but don’t listen and the thoughts are blurry – after several weeks they give up.
    Neurofeedback technology and most recently Brain State Conditioning have proved to help people with PTSD to overcome chronic stress, depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, suicidal thoughts, anger and many other dysfunctions in less than a month.
    This technology focus on brain energy balance and the result is a substitution neuron-network of all traumas by new ones that re-establish the normal functions of the brain and body without medication.
    There is not age limitation so the whole family can be brain balance and start a new happy life. Now that you know, please don't give up!

    October 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  2. Robert

    Here we go again...another group of soldiers coming to to fill the ranks of the homeless drug addicted alcholics...that's what war makes.

    October 20, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  3. spur99

    I did not get all this special attention when they involuntarily sent me off as a gift for graduating from high school to VIETNAM never knowing what second,minute,hour,day,week,month or year the length of the tour of duty for that particular war would be my last but i was lucky enough to return home in one piece phyically but emotionally scared for life. You have to be tough mentally and physically too survive a war. Unless i missed something this is solely a volunteer military so they made the choice with the possibility of being mamed or getting killed a very strong happening for their support of AMERICA.

    September 30, 2009 at 3:52 am |
  4. Sharon

    I agree with Christine. I was also stationed at the same base in Germany as Shanda and her family was. What she didn't tell you was that she was the FRG leader and was well aware of the resources available to her. You can not expect the resources to be spoon fed to you. Sometimes you have to step out of your house and help yourself! Maybe CNN should have asked more questions and got the real truth to why her marriage almost ended in divorce. It had nothing to do with the Army! For those of us who have endured many deployments know how hard it is. But as Christine said "we deal with life one day at a time." The Army is not perfect; Army spouses will be the first to tell you that. However it is not the ugly monster the some portray it to be. War is war and it sucks. Ask anyone who has been. She needs to stop blaming the Army because she was not able to deal with what life dealt her. It is not the Army's fault. Remember those who join the military did so voluntarily. Shanda's husband was not forced to join.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  5. Christine

    My family and I were stationed at the same base in Germany that Shanda and her family were. I do not agree with her thoughts that the Army didn't do much to help her while her husband was deployed. We were told over and over that help was their if we needed it. Shanda knew the help was their for her, she even served as an FRG leader for a time. An FRG is a Family Readness Group she was giving tools to help deal with her husbands deployment. As an Army wife myself we deal with life one day at a time. You have to have faith in God and believe that he would never give you more then you can handle. Stop the blame game on the Army, if your marriage is as strong as you say then it should endor over anything.

    August 22, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  6. janet

    Kiran, I hope you really read these things and understand. J

    August 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  7. janet

    I don't think anyone who is not married or associated with a military spouse has much to say. My husband just got back from his 6th deployment. He is a total stranger. The stress of my career along with his PTSD is overwhelming. NO ONE human can imagine the horror they go through. I sat and cried while I took my husband to the mental health unit after he wanted to kill and kill himself and heard all of the horror. There is not a single american who understands what these men and women are doing for their country unless they are married to it, or actually engaged in it. WE the civilian population have NO IDEA. Stop and think, and pray for those who believe in what they are doing.

    August 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  8. Dana Stoddard

    Hello, I still have fellow vietnam vets,, Who will not use V.a. after 30 yrs, Red tape, as always keeps them away, Same, Same, GI,,.

    August 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  9. Raamera

    The best thing for stress is Transcendental Meditation. Even the Russian military found it was the only thing that was effective against PTSD. It's simple, as you grow to enlightenment, all the problems and shortcomings fall away.

    August 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |