Advertisement

Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 173–194 | Cite as

Re-integration stress for Desert Storm families: Wartime deployments and family trauma

  • Mary Jo Peebles-Kleiger
  • James H. Kleiger
Article
  • 221 Downloads

Abstract

Because the war was relatively brief, casualties relatively light, and the Nation sanctioned the war socially, veterans of Desert Shield/Storm and their families were not anticipated to suffer symptoms of trauma or re-entry stress beyond that expected in routine peacetime military deployments. However, the authors argue that the stress imposed on families by Desert Shield/Storm was not analogous to that of routine deployments. The call to duty was unexpected, disruptive, and “hazardous” (i.e., highly dangerous) which places it in the category of a “catastrophic” stressor as defined by McCubbin and Figley (1983). The deployment was a call to war, which creates unique stress beyond those experienced during peacetime deployments. The deployment also carried with it prolonged “anticipation of trauma.” For these reasons, the authors argue, the deployment to Desert Shield/Storm created a situation of “family trauma” for veterans and their families. Suggestions are offered for education, prevention and treatment for families undergoing unexpected wartime military deployments.

Key words

Desert Storm families trauma war deployment 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, P. (1993). Narrowing gulf left by war's horrors.Topeka Capital-Journal, January 16, 1993, p. B1.Google Scholar
  2. Bryce, J., Walker, N., Ghorayeb, F., and Kanj, M. (1989). Life experiences, response styles, and marital health among mothers and children in Beruit Lebanon.Social Sci. Med. 28: 685–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Emotional stages of deployment. (1990). Unpublished manuscript, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD.Google Scholar
  4. Figley, C. R. (1983). Catastrophes: An overview of family reactions. In Figley, C. R., and McCubbin, H. (eds.),Stress and the Family, Vol. 2: Coping with Catastrophe, Brunner/Mazel, New York, pp. 3–20.Google Scholar
  5. Figley, C. R. (1989a).Helping Traumatized Families. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  6. Figley, C. R. (ed.) (1989b).Treating Stress in Families, Brunner/Mazel, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Guide to a mentally healthy reunion. (1991). National Mental Health Association, Alexandria, VA.Google Scholar
  8. Hobfoll, S., Spielberger, C., Breznitz, S., Figley, C., Folkman, S., Lepper-Green, B., Meichenbaum, D., Milgram, N., Sandler, I., Sarason, I., and Van der Kolk, B. (1991). War-related stress: Addressing the stress of war and other traumatic events.Am. Psychologist 46: 848–855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Horowitz, M. (1986).Stress Response Syndromes (second edition), Jason Aronson, Northvale, NJ.Google Scholar
  10. Horowitz, M., and Solomon, Z. (1978). Delayed stress response syndromes in Vietnam veterans. In Figley, C. R. (ed.),Stress Disorders Among Vietnam Veterans: Theory, Research, and Treatment, American Psychiatric Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  11. Kubler-Ross, E. (1969).On Death and Dying, MacMillan, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Logan, K. V. (1987, February). The emotional cycles of deployment.Proceedings 43–47.Google Scholar
  13. McCall, C. (1981, March). The homecoming: Your problems aren't over when he gets home.The Times Magazine, pp. 5–7.Google Scholar
  14. McCubbin, H., Dahl, B., Lester, G., Benson, D., and Robertson, M. (1976). Coping repertoire of families adapting to prolonged war-induced separations.J. Marr. Fam. August: 461–471.Google Scholar
  15. McCubbin, H., and Figley, C. R. (1983). Bridging normative and catastrophic family stress. In Figley, C. R., and McCubbin, H. (eds.),Stress and the Family, Volume I: Coping with Normative Transitions, Brunner/Mazel, New York, pp. 218–228.Google Scholar
  16. McCubbin, M., and McCubbin, H. (1989). Theoretical orientations to family stress and coping. In Figley, C. R. (ed.),Treating Stress in Families, Brunner/Mazel, New York, pp. 3–43.Google Scholar
  17. Peebles, M. J. (Writer and Speaker), and Fisher, V. (Producer). (1987a).Diagnosis of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case of Awareness Under Surgical Anesthesia [Educational Videotape], Menninger Video Productions, Topeka, KS.Google Scholar
  18. Peebles, M. J. (Writer and Speaker) and Fisher, V. (Producer). (1987b).Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress disorder: A Case of Awareness Under Surgical Anesthesia [Educational Videotape], Menninger Video Productions, Topeka, KS.Google Scholar
  19. Peebles, M. J. (1989a). Through a glass darkly: The psychoanalytic use of hypnosis with Post-traumatic Stress disorder.Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hyp. 37: 192–206.Google Scholar
  20. Peebles, M. J. (1989b). Posttraumatic stress disorder: A historical perspective of diagnosis and treatment.Bull. Menn. Clin. 53: 274–286.Google Scholar
  21. Peebles-Kleiger, M. J. (1989). Using countertransference in the hypnosis of trauma victims: A model for turning hazard into healing.Am. J. Psychother. 43: 518–530.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Peebles-Kleiger, M. J. (Writer and Speaker), Brown, M. L. (Writer), and Fisher, V. (Producer and Director). (1992).Families, Trauma, and Stress [Educational Videotape], Menninger Video Productions, Topeka, KS.Google Scholar
  23. Poe, E. A. (1940).Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, Washington Square Press, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (1991, April-May).The Health Advantage, 1, p. 1.22.Google Scholar
  25. Rutter, V. (1991, April). Media Gulf War coverage has major impact on families.Fam. Ther. News 22: 31.Google Scholar
  26. Scurfield, R. M. (1992). The collusion of sanitization and silence about war: An aftermath of “Operation Desert Storm.”J. Traum. Stress 5: 505–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Skinner, D., and Swartz, L. (1989). The consequences for preschool children of a parent's detention: A preliminary South African clinical study of care givers' reports.J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry 30: 243–259.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Solomon, Z. (1988). The effect of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder on the family.Psychiatry 51: 323–329.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Solomon, Z., Waysman, M., Antizur, E., and Enoch, D. (1991a). Psychiatric symptomatology among wives of soldiers following combat stress reaction: The role of the social network and marital relations.Anxiety Research 4: 213–223.Google Scholar
  30. Solomon, Z., Waysman, M., Belkin, R., Levy, G., Mikulincer, M., and Enoch, D. (1991b). Marital relations and combat stress reaction: The wives' perspective. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  31. Solomon, Z., Waysman, M., Levy, G., Fried, B., Mikulincer, M., Benbenishty, R., Florian, V., and Bleich, A. (1992). From front line to home front: A study of secondary traumatization.Fam. Process 31: 289–302.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Terr, L. (1979). Children of Chowchilla.Psychoanal. Study Child 34: 547–623.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Terr, L. (1991). Childhood traumas: An outline and overview.Am. J. Psychiatry 148: 10–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Van Dyke, C., Zilberg, N. J., and McKinnon, J. A. (1985). Posttraumatic stress disorder: A thirty year delay in a World War II veteran.Am. J. Psychiatry 142: 1070–1073.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Williams, C. M. (1980). The veteran system—with a focus on woman partners: Theoretical considerations, problems and treatment strategies. In Williams, T. (ed.),Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders of Vietnam Veterans, Disabled American Veterans, Cincinnati.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Jo Peebles-Kleiger
    • 1
  • James H. Kleiger
    • 1
  1. 1.Menninger ClinicTopeka

Personalised recommendations