Traumatic Stress places extreme demands on families. If one family member experiences a traumatic event the effects are likely to be far reaching, affecting every member and causing unbalance to the entire unit, which can lead to a crisis of coping. When more than one family member has experienced trauma these effects are multiplied.
The reason why the whole family is affected in a major way is because behavioural changes are symptomatic of Post-traumatic Stress. The affected member is likely to become withdrawn, be unable to make decisions and be lacking in emotion. Sometimes irritability develops into overt hostility which may be punctuated by explosive outbursts. This type of behaviour frequently alternates with dependency and the need for nurturing and affection. Increased alcohol consumption can place increased stress on the whole family.