|SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center|
When Loved Ones Get Deployed
You've read about wars in your history books and learned how they've changed history. But learning about wars in class — or even seeing images of them on TV or in the movies — can be very different from life during an actual war. That's especially true if a member of your family or someone else you care about is in the military and gets deployed.
Many men and women have chosen to serve in the military during the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These honorable men and women have chosen the difficult responsibility of serving and protecting our country and its citizens. Hundreds of thousands of men and women in uniform already have been sent overseas — and many have now returned home. Still, even if they have chosen to go, it's difficult having someone you care about sent overseas.
Common Concerns and Reactions
It's scary to think that someone you care about could be harmed. That's true even if you know that he or she is well trained and well equipped, and that every effort will be made to ensure the person's safety.
If people tell you to not think about it, they're not being very realistic, even if they mean well. Until your relative or friend comes back safe, you're going to worry sometimes.
If worrying gets too intense, though, it can interfere with the everyday activities of life, like sleep, appetite, or ability to learn or concentrate. Anxiety can affect grades too.
Worrying about others can cause people to act in ways they normally wouldn't — like being short-tempered, irritable, forgetful, or distracted. Too much worrying also can cause physical problems, like headaches, stomachaches, or tightness in the chest.
When worry is intense, telling someone close to you how you're feeling can help you get the extra support you need. You might find out he or she is thinking about that person too, and sharing thoughts is a way of remembering your loved one.
Whether your worries about war are mild or intense, it helps to know how to deal with them. That way, you can do your best while those you care about are away.
Coping With Concerns
You can try some things to feel better about the situation. Here are some tips to help you deal with your feelings:
It's natural to worry about your friend or relative — at least some of the time — until the danger is really over and he or she is back home. Until that time, keep yourself healthy and help support your family as best as you can.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD