With all the additional information on PTSD ( although none of it is presented the way I see it) it is hard not to get annoyed when people will not go for help. Why is that? And what can a spouse do about it?
People are human and American, and human Americans do not like to think
they need help. They are fine (F*ked up, insecure, neurotic and
egotistical, but they don't know it) and you are somewhere between nag and nut case to think they are not.
Detach with love.
Let him be where he is at. Let her be where she is at. Our society
tells us we can change people. If this were true, there would not be a
new self help book out every week. The only person I can change is me,
and that is slow and hard and I have not lived through a war and had the
symptoms of PTSD hammered into me by traumatic events, over and over.
So if change is hard for me as a civilian, it is going to be harder for
a veteran. He will have to face pain, devastation, horrible memories of
blood and guts and fear and despair and anger and vengeance and
destruction. It is easy to think he should man up and just do it.
We start out as rescuers: Oh, honey, you should go get help, or read
this book, or do that. We do not know what healing from war involves. We
have no way to know. I had a lot of advice for Bob, none of which he
took, so when I was writing the book, I realized that not taking my
advice was evidence too.
In combat, things are out of the person's
control. Wishes will not stop bullets or explosions or someone bleeding
out. Those are just words to us. As Bob once said to me when we came out
of the movie Platoon, "It's worse when it's real."
directions is evidence that following directions put them in danger.
is evidence that they need to regain a sense of control in their lives
and if they do what you say they lose that.
So even if what you are
saying is the right thing, saying it may be the wrong thing.