But it doesn’t just affect those who have lived through the horrors of war – it can also have a very real impact on the daily lives of their spouses and partners.
With that in mind, a woman whose partner lives with severe PTSD in combat has started a new support group in Chesterfield to help the other halves of ex-servicemen.
Spouses Unite, set up by Mica Day, meets monthly at the Hub at Low Pavements, next to Eden Mobility – with the next session taking place between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. on January 20.
Mica said PTSD affects “every aspect” of her partner’s day and night and includes symptoms such as extreme anxiety, regular nightmares and mood swings.
She told the Derbyshire Times: ‘As a partner I want to do everything I can for him, make him as comfortable as possible, talk about everything we need to and do everything I can to make sure that he does not feel alone.
“But you, without realizing it, are putting everything you have into taking care of your other half and before you know it, you’ve completely forgotten about yourself.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup and self-preservation is extremely important.
“If you don’t control yourself, you can’t do your best to help others.”
And that’s why she decided to launch Spouses Unite in partnership with Links and Derbyshire Voluntary Action.
“As the partner of someone with military PTSD, you can easily put yourself at the bottom of the list,” she said.
“I realized this was happening to myself and saw the need for this group to exist, a need for a safe space for people going through similar situations at home to sit down and chat. over a cup of tea.
“PTSD has such a wide scale of severity and can differ in how it affects people’s lives, but sitting down with someone else knowing they felt what you felt at least once times is extremely valuable.
“Being able to talk to someone who might have a different perspective on the situation, someone who is non-judgmental, who understands and who knows things are never black or white, is essential to your well- being and your progress, for you and your partner.”
She added: “By putting your partner first, you can easily isolate yourself – you might stop seeing people or just don’t have the time or energy to do anything else.
“This group would mean a little break in a different environment from home and a chance to meet new people who understand.
“I know there is a large ex-service presence in Chesterfield and some of them will have partners.
“There’s no pressure to talk about what’s going on at home, although you can if you want to.
“But it’s more about supporting each other, whether it’s with advice, having a vent or chatting about the latest Netflix show. Socialize with others who understand.
Mica thanked everyone who has supported Spouses Unite so far.
She said: ‘In setting up this group I was fortunate to be supported by Debbie Fennell, who is the Social Connectedness Development Officer at Derbyshire Voluntary Action, on a project called Feeling Connected in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield.
“The project supports people like me who, in turn, want to connect and support others through community groups or within their neighborhoods or communities on anything that reduces loneliness and social isolation.
“I hope my group will do just that.”
Debbie said: “My role is to build relationships with people like Mica who want to make a difference in their street, estate, town, city or workplace – and be responsive in helping them in whatever way. they need.
“It’s a difficult time, but even during the pandemic, there are many ways to keep our spirits up and continue to communicate with family, friends and the people who live around us.”
For more information on the Spouses Unit – which is free – email [email protected] or search “Spouses Unite” on Facebook.
If you have any ideas on how to keep the community connected, Debbie would love to hear from you. E-mail [email protected] or call 07547342251.
NHS PTSD Information Pack
PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
A person with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability, and guilt.
They may also have sleep problems, such as insomnia, and have difficulty concentrating.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s daily life.
Causes of PTSD include military combat, serious traffic accidents, and violent personal assaults.
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a troubling event or it can occur weeks, months, or even years later.
PTSD is estimated to affect around one in three people who have had a traumatic experience, but it is unclear why some people develop the condition and others do not.
You should see your GP if you are still having problems around four weeks after the traumatic experience or if the symptoms are particularly bothersome.
If necessary, your GP can refer you to mental health specialists for further assessment and treatment.