Mary’s story: Living with a husband with undiagnosed PTSD

My name’s Mary and my husband’s a Vietnam veteran.

We’d only been married three years when he came home, had a little boy, two, Tim. We had two more children very quickly, Jane and Pat. It was very difficult with three small children. What made it even more difficult was that Bill was often angry and remote. I tried to shield the children from his temper as much as possible, but it wasn’t easy.

We didn’t know much then about PTSD and I was in so much pain myself that I didn’t know how to help him.

I tried to cope, but it became increasingly difficult.

I agreed to see a counsellor about my depression and I agreed to the help and support of my family and friends. I was able to tell Bill about my problems and feelings and he agreed to go to Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS).

We are learning to cope with his PTSD and I have learnt that my mental health is just as important.  We are enjoying life together.

NOTE: This is a fictional case study using paid actors