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Abstract

After more than a decade at war, our returning service members and their families are facing enormous amounts of difficulty when returning home. PTSD and TBI, the signature wounds of these wars, have been well covered in the media. The family struggles have remained hidden and mostly undiscussed. These families are facing very specific issues in military relationships like infidelity, substance misuse, and intimate partner violence; the latter of which military families are three times more likely to experience when compared to the civilian population. There is a potential effect on caregiver burden in the role of PTSD as a factor for relationship difficulties as well. Many times, spouses can struggle with no longer a being just a wife; they have become full-time, exclusive caregivers. This loss of personal identity is one of many things that can cause a cascade of mental health problems for the spouse. As much as spouses are excited to have their service member home, incorporating the service member back into the family can be stressful. Spouses may be taken off guard to find themselves experiencing deep sadness at the changes they perceive in their veteran. These are some of the more common relationship issues in a marriage where PTSD is present. Yet there seems to be a darker side to all of this. With the higher rates of domestic violence, this paper is researching the possibility of being wrong about PTSD or potentially there may be some previously unrecognized confounder that has not been looked at yet. Mefloquine is an anti-malaria pill given to our military members that is already known to confound the diagnoses of PTSD and TBI. This literature review will assess the difficulties that these veterans and family members are facing by looking at the different possibilities of what could be making veterans more violent.

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