“Brannan Vines has never been to war. But she’s got a warrior’s skills” Brannan is the wife of a veteran who has PTSD. “But she’s got a warrior’s skills” means she demonstrates some of the same actions and emotions that a veteran would, and she’s picked these up from her husband.
“Is PTSD contagious?” The title is coming from the fact that Brannan shows many PTSD symptoms from being around her husband so long who has been diagnosed with PTSD.
“He’s one of 103,200, or 228,875, or 336,000 Americans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and came back with PTSD, depending on whom you ask” I think this is referring to the fact that it’s hard to diagnose PTSD, and since there are no biological symptoms it’s diagnosed based on emotional symptoms.
“Imagine there’s a murderer in your house. And it is dark outside, and the electricity is out. Imagine your nervous system spiking, readying you as you feel your way along the walls, the sensitivity of your hearing, the tautness in your muscles, the alertness shooting around inside your skull. And then imagine feeling like that all the time.” This is the authors point of view of what PTSD would feel like. She’s comparing it to the emotions and feelings that Brannan feels all the time and it’s a model of what PTSD is like to her.
“She has not, unlike military wives she advises, ever been beat up.” This implies that symptoms of PTSD could be violent. And in some cases lead to domestic abuse among the victims families.
“We raise the blinds in the afternoons, but only if we are alone” This indicates that one of Caleb’s symptoms of PTSD is sensitivity to light which is common among victims of PTSD.
PTSD is a disorder that has been around forever but hasn’t been understood very well. The 20 year study that they are currently undergoing is to serve that purpose. They need to find more out about this disorder so it can be diagnosed better and treated in a more manageable way.
Caleb is on 12 different pills for a variety of different things- anxiety, depression, his symptoms for his PTSD and that’s a problem because many of his symptoms haven’t even gone away.
“Secondary traumatic stress has been documented in the spouses of veterans with PTSD from Vietnam” what Brennan suffers from isn’t new. It’s been documented for years and can happen to anyone who has a spouse or close family member who has PTSD. They don’t know why certain people are affected, which is one of the many things that they must figure out.