Deployment Psychology Blog

Staff Perspective: Sharing Combat Experiences – Why Veterans Struggle Opening Up to Loved Ones

Deb Nofziger, Psy.D.

If you have ever worked with a combat Veteran, at some point you have heard frustration from both the Veteran and family members about their communication specific to details about combat experiences. I was recently listening to a patient of mine with this common problem, and he put it very well – “I should tell my wife everything. But I don’t…. I can’t. It is too much to pile on her, and it would hurt her. So I don’t. I push her away instead, block her questions out so my pain won’t be her pain.” Listening to him, and all the others with similar statements, always seems to take me back to the first time I explained this issue with a patient and his family.

Research Update: 15 February 2018

Research Update Icon

The weekly research update contains the latest news, journal articles and useful links from around the web. Some of this week's topics include:
● Assessing Changes in Alcohol Use and Alcohol Use Disorder Prevalence in the United States: Evidence From National Surveys From 2002 Through 2014. 
● The Origin of Spousal Resemblance for Alcohol Use Disorder. 

● Military Personnel Who Seek Health and Mental Health Services Outside the Military.

Guest Perspective: Think Outside of the Box

As medical practitioners, it’s easy to get into routines, customary practice guidelines and well-organized treatment regimes.  I’m well aware, as with any situation or job, it can be very challenging and frightening to step outside of your comfort zone and push the boundaries. Yet, every single patient and situation is different.  Each person is unique, has a different story, and is looking to you for help. Let’s face it, sometimes you run across that unicorn; the square peg that will not fit in that round hole. That is why I have been asked to write to you today.  I’m here to share with you a story, my story about a life and a family that was saved by two mental health practitioners thinking outside of that box.  Those practitioners brought a soldier out of what seemed like a hopeless situation that had baffled doctors across the country for over a decade.