But she’s got a warrior’s skills: hyperawareness, hypervigilance, adrenaline-sharp quick-scanning for danger, for triggers.
-This categorical claim explains the symptoms Brannan feels.
-She has all of these war-like skills she uses to look for triggers. Triggers are dangerous things that can cause a PTSD episode.
-These symptoms are suggesting she caught these war-like skills from her husband. Are her husband’s episodes a kind of trigger for her PTSD?
And as slippery as all that is, even less understood is the collateral damage, to families, to schools, to society—emotional and fiscal costs borne long after the war is over.
-This claim defines the aftermath of people suffering from PTSD.
-No one understands, not even one’s community, who is supposed to be there to help.
-Lack of understanding worsens suffering by adding to the list of things that need to be dealt with.
When a sound erupts—Caleb screaming at Brannan because she’s just woken him up from a nightmare, after making sure she’s at least an arm’s length away in case he wakes up swinging—the ensuing silence seems even denser.
-Categorical claim of symptoms of PTSD.
-Contrasting the loud and violent episode to the noiseless aftermath.
-Suggesting both situations, loud and silent, are just as bad.
-The definition claim personifies the theorized causes of PTSD- the causes have feelings too, just like the trauma victims.
-They are equal. It’s not their fault they suffer from PTSD and others don’t.
-What can be done to make the proteins happy and keep the amygdala in line?
Whatever is happening to Caleb, it’s as old as war itself.
-Defines PTSD as an ancient kind of disease, and the severity of suffering with the seriousness of war.
-If PTSD is so old, why are people still suffering?
Basically your spouse’s behavior becomes the “T” in your own PTSD.
-This claim defines Secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
-Your spouse who is suffering from the disease is your traumatic experience, which leads you to suffer also.
They’d “assumed the normal positions,” she with her back to the restaurant, he facing it so he could monitor everyone, and suddenly, a server dropped a tray out of her periphery, setting her circulatory system off at a million miles a minute.
-Describing symptoms of Secondary PTSD.
-“She” has experienced her husband’s actions after a loud noise and he body prepares her for his response this time.
-Her reaction clearly parallels to her husband’s previous reactions, suggesting she has “caught” his PTSD.
A 2000 VA budget crunch led to her clinic’s contract being terminated—and her husband’s disability pay ended when he killed himself in 2001.
-Claims VA is harsh in decisions because she was in need, and they cut her off due to money
-Sets up the idea that after her husband killed himself, she was no longer the VA’s problem
-The VA is supposed to be helpful, why are good people getting screwed over?
It may take years for the verdict to come in on whether secondary trauma will be officially acknowledged as its own unique form of hell.
-Claims gaining the acceptance of a new mental illness will not be easy.
-Secondary trauma may be just as worse as actual trauma.
Back at home, Steve drank wildly. He waged war with his wife, attempted to work odd jobs where he had as little contact with humans as possible.
-Symptoms of PTSD ruin what was once normal.
-The “new normal” of having a short temper and not wanting to socialize is the aftermath of war.
-Drinking and avoiding contact are ways of coping, although they are not healthy.