What's Normal

spouse and sad daughter

For military families, stress and strain is an everyday occurrence. Whether it is being married to a service member, experiencing a military move to a new location, raising children, experiencing a serious illness or death of a family member, and/or dealing with a deployment, life in the military can create an endless list of potential stressors. It is possible to prepare ahead of time for some of these stressors, but others are unpredictable. Complete elimination of stress, especially for a military family member, is an impossible task.

Everyday stress and strain can be managed when acknowledged and addressed early in the process. History has shown that our military families are resilient and able to successfully manage multiple stressors. The Department of Defense's Defense Center of Excellence (DCoE) has been working on ways to increase our resiliency and to raise awareness of its importance to help maintain balance within our busy lives. All branches of the military Services offer support and preventative programs through their respective family support centers. The National Military Family Association has been working with the DCoE and the military Services to help our military families deal with military life's stresses and strains.

However, sometimes it can take additional help to relieve the underlying feeling that life is coming at you too fast and becoming too complicated. There is an anonymous self-screening program available to help you gain a better understanding of how you are feeling. The test is a series of brief questions to identify signs and symptoms of problems and provide ways to get help before they escalate. Anonymous self-assessments are available for a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and bipolar disorder, and alcohol abuse. Take a free PTSD Screening test. After you complete the test, you will be provided with referral information and resources. For additional resources, please refer to our section on Getting Help.

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