Secondary PTSD comes from mirroring the one with PTSD. Kind of like re-experiencing their trauma as your own. You have listened to the one with PTSD, what happened to them, details of the trauma, know their triggers, and in trying to help them avoid things which can trigger their PTSD you in a way start living their trauma as if it were your own. You start experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, etc when the triggers of the PTSD veteran now become the triggers of the spouse.

There is help and ther are many ways you can learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms and how you can play an important role in supporting the person in your life who suffers from PTSD.

If you live with or work with a service member who has PTSD, there are studies that show you can develop secondary PTSD. Many web sites discuss secondary PTSD so we have included some of them here for quick reference. 

The Veterans Voice   PTSD and Wives: Wives of men who have PTSD can develop secondary PTSD

Family of a Vet   Secondary PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Military Spouse   PTSD and Military Spouses

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