The current study will explore relationships and health in the OEF/OIF Veteran population. Specifically, this study will examine PTSD symptom severity, traumatic brain injury, relationship satisfaction, leisure, general health ratings, feelings of burdensomeness and belongingness, and suicidal ideation.
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||June 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
United States military troops returning home from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom deployments are presenting with "invisible wounds". These "invisible wounds" include mental health conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Recent literature has begun to explore how PTSD affects the service member, as well as their significant others. Several studies have shown that Veteran endorsement of PTSD symptoms is associated with decreased relationship satisfaction. Prior literature has shown that spending time together and engaging in pleasurable activities as a couple are important strategies for enduring relationship quality and satisfaction. Literature has demonstrated moderate relationships between PTSD and suicidal ideation. A previous study conducted by two of the investigators in this population showed that perceived feelings of burdensomeness and belongingness and identification of suicide as a potential strategy for dealing with these feelings. Joiner has hypothesized that acquired capacity of painful experiences, perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness are the three components of increased suicide risk. Yet few studies exist that examine these constructs in the military population, though research indicates the clinical utility for exploring these constructs and related consequences.