Case Study Details

Victor is a 27-year-old man who comes to you for help at the urging of his fiancée. He was an infantryman with a local Marine Reserve unit who was honorably discharged in 2014 after serving two tours of duty in Iraq. His fiancé has told him he has “not been the same” since his second tour of duty and it is impacting their relationship. Although he offers few details, upon questioning he reports that he has significant difficulty sleeping, that he “sleeps with one eye open” and, on the occasions when he falls into a deeper sleep, he has nightmares. He endorses experiencing several traumatic events during his second tour, but is unwilling to provide specific details – he tells you he has never spoken with anyone about them and he is not sure he ever will. He spends much of his time alone because he feels irritable and doesn’t want to snap at people. He reports to you that he finds it difficult to perform his duties as a security guard because it is boring and gives him too much time to think. At the same time, he is easily startled by noise and motion and spends excessive time searching for threats that are never confirmed both when on duty and at home. He describes having intrusive memories about his traumatic experiences on a daily basis but he declines to share any details. He also avoids seeing friends from his Reserve unit because seeing them reminds him of experiences that he does not want to remember.

Symptoms

  • Hypervigilance
  • Intrusive Thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Loss of Interest
  • Sleep Difficulties
  • Trauma