I started thinking about this topic earlier this week after speaking with a few military wives. I have been a military spouse for over 7 years. I have seen tons of soldiers, mostly those that have been deployed to a war zone, be diagnosed with
sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. I am sure this number will likely continue to increase being that we are fighting multiple wars. I know that the Army, and I'm sure other branches of the military, have started to take notice and have implemented programs and services for soldiers to get counseling and deal with their issues. But where does this leave the spouses?
I have met lots of military spouses, even through forums on websites created to establish a network of moms/wives and girlfriends/fiances in the military community. I have noticed that lots of them have to take meds while coping with a deployment, or multiple deployments, or some other issues that have come to a head in their lives via the military. Yes, we all have issues in our marriages, some big some small. But if you are a civilian and have never lived the military life, trust me, you have no idea. Out of the seven years of my marriage my husband has been gone for about 4 years! Although, I have not had to take meds to deal with his abscence during those times, I can see how many people have to. Taking on ALL things "husbandy" for a year to 15 months in some cases, and suddenly turning into MIGHTY MOM can put a lot of stress on a person. Also, coupled with uprooting your family from one foreign place to another every 3 or so years, in my current case, overseas in Hawaii, with no family and having to make friends all over again is a big stressor. I know that there is sometimes a stigma associated with a soldier who seeks mental health treatment so I imagine that may be the case when the spouse seeks treatment.
I have decided to do some research on this subject for a future post to discover resources that are currently available for military spouses who are having to go through this difficult journey. If you know of some resources please feel free to share them with me, even anonymously if you choose. Also, if you are a military spouse going through this I would love to talk to you about your experience. Feel free to comment!