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Walter Reed PTSD Spouse Program

July 14, 2011

I watched a video yesterday about a program that they had started at Walter Reed Hospital  in Washington.  This program was for the spouses of returning veterans with PTSD. They interviewed several of the participants: Gayla Romanowski, Katelyn Taylor, Amanda Redhead, Mary Dawn Jenkins, and Kelly Heliker, who all gave tearful and poignant talks about the difficulties of being the spouse of a PTSD victim and how no attention was being paid to their plight as the PTSD mate.

The good news is that someone is finally paying attention to a significant additional number of PTSD sufferers.  In an earlier blog I stated that there could be as many as 150,000 returning troops who will have PTSD.  In this video piece they estimated that the number of sufferers could be as high as 800 ,000 across the Country.  

So the good news is that they have started to gather PTSD spouses in their health care net.  But the bad news is that this program can only service 12 women at a time and Walter Reed is the only hospital , that I have heard of, so far, offering this service for the PTSD spouses.  It looked as though the treatment included both counseling and physical exercise though they didn’t make it clear exactly what was specifically involved.  One thing that did stand out for me though was what one woman said, “It was so encouraging to know that there were others out there feeling like I was and not knowing what to do about it”

I have asked all of you reading this blog to reach out to families of PTSD victims and introduce them to our site the Military PTSD Forum and ask these victims and their families to post about their feelings.  A unified site is powerful and a single place where their PTSD stories can be told, will become a force for change.  There are no costs to post and we hope that word of mouth will make this site catch on so that more and more spouses and PTSD victims can feel safe in coming and relieving some of the burdens of their PTSD pain by writing them down.