I disagree with the statement that most family members of veterans never experience any mental health issues. Overall, the effect of armed conflicts on ex-military people’s close ones is often overlooked. However, family members act as the main supporters for veterans and share their numerous concerns and issues. Research supports the hypothesis that military service can have adverse psychological effects on the families of the military people. A study by Armour et al. (2022) revealed that “spouses/intimate partners had higher rates of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to national rates” (p. 7). Furthermore, if the veteran has a mental health issue, it is more likely for their family members to feel distressed (Armour et al., 2022). The impact on children can be particularly negative, leading to the feeling of betrayal, neglect, or lack of love. Such tendencies can result in significant damage to one’s mental health.
From my professional experience, veterans’ spouses and partners tend to have anxiety and depressive disorders as a result of the challenges and emotional burdens they face. For instance, a woman reported that witnessing her husband, who has PTSD, had a significant influence on her mental health as well. Furthermore, their children saw the problem and were affected by the lack of their father’s attention. Overall, the whole family’s quality of life worsened as frustration and anxiety grew. In this regard, regular meetings for veterans and their loved ones helped address the problem and support everyone affected. People could share their concerns, feel connected, and discuss ways to move on from the traumatic experience. As can be seen, both veterans and their family members can experience mental health issues.
Armour, C., Spikol, E., McGlinchey, E., Gribble, R., Fear, N. T., & Murphy, D. (2022). Identifying psychological outcomes in families of Five Eyes alliance armed forces Veterans: A systematic review. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, 8(1), 7-27. Web.