PTSD is common
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a common reaction to an uncommon event. It may be difficult for you to imagine that your husband’s new anxiety-riddled behavior is common, but that’s exactly the case. His symptoms are what would be expected from someone who experienced what he did. They are common to hundreds of thousands–perhaps millions– of other courageous men and women who have fought in wards down through the centuries.
But compared to how he used to be, he’s probably acting very uncommonly. No doubt, he’s different from his pre-war self and different from his friends who never experienced combat. But for someone who saw, smelled, felt, heard and tasted the things he did, it’s common.
He is not weak, weird or cowardly. He has been wounded.
What can cause a wound? We normally think of physical implements, like a knife or a bullet. But one can receive “soul wounds” that are as bad as or worse than physical wounds, affecting a person deeper and lasting longer than anything a gun could produce. And we’re not talking sentimental psychobabble here–this is as real as it gets. You know. You’ve seen and experienced your husband’s woundedness.