Some aspects of PTSD, like the distressing memories, hyperarousal (the feeling of being wound up all the time) and the tendency to avoid things, can be especially problematic for families. Hyperarousal can contribute to aggression and domestic violence. Avoidance can get in the way of intimacy between a veteran and their partner, and tends to reduce relationship satisfaction. Partners can also experience anxiety, depression, social isolation and feelings of hopelessness as a result of their partner’s trauma and subsequent mental illness. Partners of veterans with PTSD often talk about ‘walking on eggshells’ around their partner and being afraid of their symptoms.
- “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."