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Military wives! How do you deal with PTSD and TBI's??

I'm still learning, DH was deployed in July 2008 and just got home Oct 2009. I have done as much research as I can on what to expect but reading and reacting are two totally different things! He was hit by IEDs in Iraq and recieved a purple heart for his brain injury... besides severe PTSD. We don't argue, but we never talk! He's always watching tv and never turns it off! Besides that, dd is potty training and it seems to be hardest on him. The nights he can sleep, he sleeps for 1-2 hour periods and is always grumpy!!! The light hurts his eyes constantly so the blinds are always shut yet that gets me depressed and usually I get either sleepy or a headache then he gets frustrated that I'm not in 2 places at once!! I'm going crazy!!!! How does your DH react!?? How do you react to him??


Asked by 07lilmama1108 at 5:36 PM on Apr. 11, 2010 in Health

Level 15 (2,033 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • We dealt with it through marriage counseling and through him getting his own personal counseling. He also has made sure to keep up with a neurologist. He still has problems, but the prozac has at least helped his moods and helped him not be depressed (that's what's going on with your husband). Counseling and medication are the only way to deal with it. My husband was injured in April of 2007 and it will NEVER be fully fixed. But he has made major improvements. And counseling together helped ME to understand the PTSD and the problems with his brain so I could help him, myself and our family.

    Answer by kittyhasclaws at 6:17 PM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • Maybe you need to stop babying him. Treat him like a grown man. Your situation is a little different then mine. But my DH went to Iraq for 15 months. When he came back he was a little jittery about certain things. I just treated him like I always treated him befor he left.

    I think you need to talk to him. Buy him a good pair of sun glasses and tell him to put them on and then open the blinds.  Tell him to get up off the couch and do something else but watch tv.  Explain to him you know he went through a lot. but he need to start trying to get on with his life. For the family.


    Answer by louise2 at 5:46 PM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • Louise2, you have no idea what you're talking about, so it's better not to say anything. A TBI cannot be ignored. It's literally BRAIN DAMAGE and your brain doesn't heal like the rest of your body does. It's not something you can just get over. I can physically change your personality. You don't just "grow up" from an injury to your brain.

    Answer by kittyhasclaws at 6:20 PM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • I did not say ignore it. If you can not deal with his issues. You need to get him help. It will not help him to treat him like a baby.

    Answer by louise2 at 7:17 PM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • She's not treating him like a baby. She's avoiding him because she doesn't know what to do. And actually, while he's getting help, he WILL need be treated with kid gloves. Things are HARD when your brain has been damaged. You can't do all the things you used to be able to do, and it's hard to cope with that, so he's going to have a lot of anger issues. Telling him to "get over it" will make things worse. Instead saying, "Let's get some help for the both of us" does WONDERS. He needs to be well medicated so he can start working on himself. He needs to get on an antidepressant and some sleep medication. My husband will probably be on at least a little bit of sleep medication for the rest of his life, along with the antidepressants. He's also been on medication for Alzheimer's because of his memory loss, medication for muscle spasms and medication for migraines and regular headaches. I go to his medical appointments..

    Answer by kittyhasclaws at 8:12 PM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • ...when I can so that I also know what's going on because I can't count on him to remember what all has been discussed. I can also air my concerns to the doctor or remind him of something he may have forgotten. I don't treat my husband like a child, but I do make sure that he has everything in line for him because he can't remember to do everything himself any more because his brain doesn't work like it used to. I also know what triggers his PTSD and how to avoid it. I make sure that he has all of his pills set out so that he knows what to take and when. I make sure he remembers to eat. And he's grateful. He's happy I have done all that I have to help him and understand that he's not the same as when I married him, and that he's had it hard. He also knows that it was hard on me and that there are certain things that he has to do to ensure I don't go insane. It's a different world when you live with a TBI.

    Answer by kittyhasclaws at 8:17 PM on Apr. 11, 2010

  • That's why marriage counseling is a MUST. You figure out how to deal with each other with the change and how to come to some sort of agreement and understanding on this new and different life. He'll unfortunately never be the same, and there is no way to just snap him out of it, but you can help him recover at least a little and cope with everything else so that you all can be happy. And it isn't a quick process (and that's hard on guys, it really is because they want to fix it but know they can't and it's frustrating and they don't know how to deal with that). It's going to be a lot of work for each of you.

    Answer by kittyhasclaws at 8:22 PM on Apr. 11, 2010