We may not even be aware of the changes that have occurred in ourselves or home life, and could deny it all. If this happens, do not try and convince them otherwise as they may perceive this as an attack and shut you out emotionally. By giving him or her the information and time to process it you have done what you could for now.
It took many years before I felt that i needed help. By educating yourself on the psychological impact of war on the mind, you can encourage and support your soldier or veteran. We do not want to be coddled, but some understanding of our new way of thinking can go a long way in negating misunderstandings. Our fundamental thinking patterns have been altered and will take some time to adjust and reincorporate a different conceptualization into our lives.
In a combat environment overcoming the initial emotional crisis takes an fundamental alteration of our cognitive structure which closes off our humanity to engage in combat. We must develop a combat-values system with a preset conditional internal guidance system pre-programmed to engage within the "troop-organism." The squad level of interpersonal identification, an extension of the battle buddies self.
Being removed from the protective feeling that this state of mind brings, the troop can develop a deep feeling of loss and guilt combined with a profound solitary disengagement from others who they now cannot identify with. Going from a deep sense of belonging and protection the troop gets the feeling of facing the world alone, even in the midst of family and friends.
The splits in personal structures of the combat veteran or soldier, a recognition and extension of differing personal identifications of self along with partnerships with the battle buddies, individuality ceases to exist to engage the machinations of combat and killing. Reconciling this wound of the soul will take time.
Long after the war ends, the battle still rages.