**NOTE: This is a small piece of the complete lesson to give you a Taste of OXYGEN.
Shawn is the co-founder of Military with PTSD. She has consulted with doctors at the National Center for PTSD and is a caregiver to her husband, a disabled veteran, Justin Gourley. Before the incorporation of Military with PTSD as a non-profit organization, she developed and has run the programs that are now being extended and more fully realized by the Military with PTSD non-profit. Shawn will be the Vice President of Military with PTSD Inc. until the corporation is big enough to fill this position. At that time she will step down from the Board of Directors and work exclusively as the Executive Director of Military with PTSD Inc. The presentation, publication, and program development activities shall initially be conducted by Shawn J. Gourley, co-founder of the organization. Shawn has been deemed the best individual suited for carrying out such activities due to her professional background and experience.
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Inside the Lesson
In this episode, Shawn J. Gourley—author of The War at Home: One Family’s Fight Against PTSD and co-founder of Military with PTSD, a nonprofit organization that has helped 100,000 service member veterans, family members, and healthcare professionals—discusses what it means to a marriage when one spouse is suffering from PTSD. She pinpoints the telltale behaviors of a PTSD sufferer and offers pointed advice for the spouse/caregiver. The negative effects of PTSD are widespread and far-reaching in the sufferer’s life and relationships, but do not have to define a couple’s marriage. The most important thing to remember is that a PTSD sufferer is not a child who needs to be coddled or protected, but rather a person in immense pain who needs time to heal and to learn how to cope. For the spouse/caregiver, she offers three tips on how to take ownership of one’s marriage and work to create positive change—such as journaling, taking care of oneself, and creating an emotions chart. A PTSD sufferer will never forget the events that triggered the disorder, and things will never “go back to normal,” but over time he/she can learn to cope with the emotions and live a healthy, happy life.
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