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How to Support Your Partner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy

 Diane England, Ph.D.

 FACT: Approximately 20% of military members who’ve been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). About 20% of these individuals will abuse substances to try and manage untreated PTSD symptoms—which in turn negatively impacts their relationships plus increases suicide risk. The military and Congress have been increasingly concerned about growing suicide rates.

 FACT: Many warriors wounded by PTSD fail to seek treatment because they perceive help-seeking behavior as a sign of weakness versus strength. While they believe you should “just suck it up,” delayed treatment typically causes PTSD symptoms to worsen.

 FACT:  An estimated 7.7million American adults ages 18 to 54 have PTSD and, as a result, have seen their relationships and their lives harmed by this mental disorder—something increasingly happening to recent war veterans with PTSD.

 What’s the Story and What Does it Mean for Your Audience?

 While PTSD is both debilitating and stressful for the sufferer, PTSD’s symptoms also negatively impact the partner and the children. Thus, the partner may be motivated to see to it that the PTSD sufferer gets needed treatment. However, since learning what that treatment should entail can be a daunting task, as can be remaining a supportive partner to someone who has perhaps turned into an angry and rejecting stranger, Dr. Diane England has set forth some specific solutions. THE POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER RELATIONSHIP:  How to Support Your Partner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy (Adams Media; August), described in the July 15, 2009 issue of the Library Journal as “essential” for all communities with returning war veterans, was also described as “compassionate” and “well-done.”    

 With this book as a guide, the overwhelmed partner of the PTSD sufferer will learn how to:

  • manage a roller-coaster of emotions apt to arise
  • cope with sexual problems that may develop because of PTSD symptoms.
  • help the partner navigate the healthcare system to get the best treatment possible for the type of trauma endured
  • talk to the partner about uncomfortable subjects such as suicidal thoughts
  • tell the children about the parent’s problems in such a way that they don’t falsely hold themselves responsible for the parent’s changed behavior.

 While the book is designed to help all couples impacted by PTSD, Dr. England writes with sensitively to the growing number of those harmed by war. “I was motivated to write a book that starts the healing process from PTSD in large part because of my experience of working with military members and their families at a base in Italy for five years—including during wartime,” England states.

 Who is the Author?

 Diane England holds a Ph.D. in clinical social work from the University of Texas at Arlington, a Masters degree in family studies from Oregon State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in child development from the University of Maine. As a licensed clinical social worker, she has practiced as a psychotherapist, but she has also held positions with two universities and two of the largest voluntary health organizations. These positions provided her with the opportunity to educate the lay public, graduate students, and health care professionals on how to improve individual, relationship, family, and community functioning or well-being through speeches, seminars, workshops, conferences, and television and radio appearances.

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For more information, please contact Beth Gissinger at 508 427-6757