One of the common denominators of people who enter therapy is the feeling of being "stuck" in some way. Often there is the feeling of not being able to break out of a set of behaviors, feelings or thoughts. People know "it should be different," but can't seem to get things to really change for themselves.
Everyone returns changed from a combat deployment. Spouses of combat soldiers frequently report their partner is typically less communicative, more emotionally distant, socially isolated, irritable, and more reactive. They generally report that the honeymoon period after coming home may have lasted three days, perhaps even a couple of weeks before the difficulties began.
Media and official reports on prevalence rates of military war stress injury have focused almost exclusively on escalating rates of well-known war stress injuries such as PTSD, depression, generalized anxiety, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the true impact from war trauma cannot be reduced to a handful of psychiatric diagnoses, as some may want.
When I first began to develop EMDR therapy back in 1987, I experimented with everyone who was willing to volunteer. One of the things I found very interesting was that often the problem they were concentrating on would spontaneously connect in their minds to earlier memories that were related in some way. That's how I began to discover that the past was really present.
There is a desperate need to maintain hope that the veteran can win in the final battle -- coming home. So, where does a veteran turn for help? Know there are health care providers who are committed to making a difference both to the veteran and family members. Together we all can make a difference.