The book “The War at Home: One Family’s Fight against PTSD” by Shawn Gourley illustrates the issues of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in the family. Based on my perception, this book is indisputably worth reading because it discloses complex associations in the family between wife and husband (veteran) and between children and parents. This book is centered on real incidents and is written in an understandable and simplified language unlike many other textbooks and books on psychology. Further, I trust that this book will be meaningful to veterans and their members of families and it can assist them to apprehend themselves and their conduct. Besides, relatives may learn more meaningful information concerning PTSD. I regard this book as needing to be read for those individuals who are caught in this circumstance and for ordinary persons as no one knows what may happen and this is a better opportunity to learn how to respond to PTSD in case it happens to a person.
This story portrays a military culture where Justin spent his given years as an operation’s expert training men to witness fatality but did not perceive it. On a daily occasion, Justin witnessed many severed limbs and corpses. Besides, his duties comprised encouraging the military and guaranteeing their protection. Justin was also a specialist machinist Mate. Lastly, when he returned home, Shawn projected that everything will be the same as it was before joining the military. Nonetheless, Justin turned out to be irritable and in tatters between family and work, and the rare evenings they hung together culminated into a quarrel. At times, he threatened to eliminate his entire family “shoot this whole fucking house up” (Gourley, 2015, p. 48); this was the first warning sign presented by Justin. Another warning sign was that Justin kept yelling while sleeping and hitting and kicking things at night. At this point, Shawn discovered that something was not right first and requested help in having Justin receive the necessary treatment or psychological assistance (Gourley, 2015).
Comparing the behavior of Justin with four major features of PTSD that comprise negative transformations in mood and thinking, intrusive memories, alterations in emotional responses, and avoidance; I may assert that this corresponds with most characteristics (Friedman, 2015). For instance, a feeling of emotional blunting and emotional numbness haunted Justin always. In my perspective, the turning point of Justin happened when he discovered somebody to discuss with about the military, somebody who experience the same challenges. A counselor was the one who enhanced the harmony in Justin’s family illustrating both spouse and husband the truth that their life might not be a return to how it used to be before. However, they still have an opportunity to be happy together accommodating each other in this new outlook.
In summing up, it must be emphasized that this was a great struggle within a man emanating from his earlier encounter in the military. Justin’s contemplation was he could not bear with what was manifesting to him or would never go back to his normal life. Nevertheless, the family support and the treatment emerged as the decisive aspect. Justin recognizing that he was not alone in this struggle provided him with the strengths to strive and survive the challenges. In reading the book, l have gained a lot in learning a substantial reality about PTSD on the illustration based on the family of Gourley. I learned that despite the challenges of PTSD, one can have the possibility to resolve them with the support of family, own efforts, and a counselor, and start a new normal life full of joy and emotions.
Friedman, M. J. (2015). Posttraumatic and acute stress disorders (6th ed.). Springer.
Gourley, S. J. (2015). The war at home: One family’s fight against PTSD. Military with Ptsd.