Whip out your pens, paper, and care package supplies, spouses. A new study finds that the more mail a happily married deployed Soldier gets from home, the fewer PTSD symptoms he is likely to have.
This study, which I detail today over at Military.com, found that while snail mail, packages and email can significantly lower PTSD symptoms in happily married soldiers -- phone calls and online chat (like Sykpe) doesn't.
Consider this scientific proof that there’s nothing a good old fashioned letter can’t help. Even email was shown to be helpful, the study found, likely because it is not received immediately and, like letters, a Soldier can go back and read it again.
While the study specifically looked at Army couples, the results are likely true for everyone. Mail makes servicemembers in good marriages happy.
An equally important finding in the study was that for those who were unhappily married or having relationship problems, mail did more harm than good. This fact, the authors said, is likely because for those whose marriages are suffering, communication from home just stresses them out more.
Those that go into deployment without relationship turmoil are more likely to come out with fewer PTSD symptoms. The study’s authors said this is important to note because it highlights the necessity of marriage support programs, particularly before deployment.
As if we needed another reason to make sure our marriages aren’t on the rocks before our spouse leaves for who knows how long.
The authors said they are planning a future study to figure out exactly what it is these happily married spouses are talking about in their letters that is resulting in fewer PTSD symptoms. Doing so will help them make recommendations to couples in the future to help them successfully get through deployment.
You can read my whole story on the report over at Military.com.