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Link between PTSD and domestic violence

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2018 | Military Family Law |

Returning service members who have experienced traumatic events while deployed are often later diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). People with PTSD are triggered by the event to experience a high-level of stress that won’t go away. It can cause anything from flashbacks to chronic anxiety.

Service members returning home must re-enter everyday life. Not all of them are successful in letting go of the stress of their deployment. According to experts, the trauma returns with symptoms of paranoia, heightened jitteriness, and a sense that people are out to get them.

Domestic violence issues associated with PTSD

Recently, Shane Kirk, an ex-service member living in Lawton, Oklahoma killed his wife and step-father. Earlier in the day he had gone to the emergency room complaining that he was being poisoned. While Shane had been diagnosed previously with PTSD, he was sent home and later committed murder.

People in Shane’s position, returning from overseas assignment, are trained in military tactics. They frequently own guns and other weapons and are used to being in violent situations.

The chronic trauma they are experiencing leads these ex-service members to make irrational decisions. A flashback may occur giving them the feeling of being in combat.

Important to get help as early as possible

Shane Kirk and other returning vets are part of a growing statistic in domestic violence. It is important for family members and people suffering from PTSD to be aware of the early warning signs of an episode. Symptoms include re-experiencing the event, nightmares, getting irritated or angry, nausea and excessive sweating.

Seek help immediately before symptoms escalate uncontrollably. Some treatment options may include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and medications to manage the symptoms.

If you or a family member are experiencing domestic violence and suspect that PTSD is to blame, help is available. Consult a family law attorney, know your rights and put your safety first in a volatile situation.