The US is sending 3,500 troops to the Middle East, meaning many military families have to part with their loved ones.
Deployment brings new obstacles for military spouses, like increased anxiety and poor health habits, research shows.
Children of deployed parents are more likely to suffer from depression, among other consequences. Increased social support and therapy can help military families survive hard times.
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#WWIII, #NoWarWithIran, and other trending Twitter hashtags from the past week reveal the anxiety people across the globe are feeling amid near-boiling-point tensions between the US and Iran.
The US is sending 3,500 Army paratroopers to the Middle East, reports Tuesday revealed, adding more uncertainty — especially for military families.
To add to that distress, those being deployed have been told to leave their cellphones at home.
Eighteen-year old Melissa Morales is one of those family members caught off guard. Her twin sister, Cristina, is scheduled to leave Wednesday, she said in an interview with CNN.
“As her twin sister, it kind of hurts. It stings,” she told the outlet.
Research shows deployment can have a very real psychological impact on family members, particularly military spouses and children.
Among a range of feelings, studies have shown that families of deployed military personnel experience a range of challenging emotions.
Learning of a spouse's deployment can mean “emotional chaos.”
CAPT. ROBYN HAAKE/US ARMY/AFP via Getty Images
A qualitative study of 11 women married to deployed Army Reserve military members had a heart-wrenching finding.
Nearly all of the women described the moment they learned their husband would have to deploy fell into a category researchers call “emotional chaos,” or experiencing a range of emotions — like stress, disbelief, and sadness — all at once.
Partners of those deployed report higher levels of anxiety and stress.
Andrew Craft/Getty Images
One study of 130 US military spouses (68 spouses of non-deployed servicemen and 62 spouses of servicemen deployed to a combat zone) took a close look at stress.
Spouses of deployed servicemen had markedly higher stress scores than spouses of non-deployed service members, the study found. Additionally, anxiety levels were “significantly higher in spouses of deployed versus non deployed servicemen,” the researchers found.
Spouses are at an increased risk for substance abuse.
UK-based King's Centre for Military Health Research collected data from 405 women in military families with at least one child.
These women reported higher rates of binge drinking than women in the general population, 9.7% compared to 8.9%, respectively. They also reported higher rates of depression, 7% compared to 3%.
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