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Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One's PTSD Paperback – June 1, 2010


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Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One's PTSD + When Someone You Love Suffers from Posttraumatic Stress: What to Expect and What You Can Do + The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship: How to Support Your Partner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden (May 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592858562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592858569
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Of those affected by trauma, research shows that 8% of men and 20% of women could develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Orange (Sing Your Own Song) has personal experience with her topic; her husband, a Vietnam veteran, was diagnosed with PTSD after its symptoms had impacted their lives for years. Using contributor stories, the author illustrates the varied paths PTSD can take and guides readers through the journey to recovery, "a life-long process that improves all aspects of ourselves: body, mind, and spirit." Orange believes that choice plays a major role in recovery. "Each day we can decide to blame trauma or our loved one for our actions and feelings or we can take responsibility for our own life and growth." Ways of diagnosing PTSD and information on the warning signs of suicide, trauma responses, and the affect of trauma on loved ones are also discussed, as are ways to honor grief, find a therapist, provide self-care, rebuild a life, find joy, and parent while dealing with PTSD. Caregivers or anyone impacted by trauma will likely feel that Orange is on their side and respond well to her calls to seek "progress, not perfection." (July) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Cynthia Orange has written extensively about addiction and recovery, parenting, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She co-facilitates a caregivers' support group, and she and her husband (a Vietnam combat veteran) often speak to audiences about the effects of trauma and war in their continuing involvement with veterans and veterans' issues. She is an award-winning writer who has published hundreds of articles, columns, and guest editorials in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals. She is the author of several books, and contributed to the popular meditation book, Today's Gift. Her latest book is Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One's PTSD.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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4 star
17%
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See all 18 customer reviews
Well written and insightful.
B. Corley
A very good book and must read for anyone living with and working with family members with PTSD and anger issues.
RJBJR
She now understands what 's going on better than I do, thanks to help from this book as well.
Tomie Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chloe on August 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
I cried all the way through this book and it was because I had found someone who knew better, then I knew myself, what I had been going through over the last 7 years of my marriage and 10 years of my relationship with my husband. I was so relieved to find someone who knew what I was going through.

I knew my husband had experienced a horrific trauma as a teen but as it was explained to me, while we were dating, it was something that had happened in the past and was resolved. What both myself and my husband didn't realize was that he was suffering from PTSD and that our marriage would be a big trigger for him to spiral downward, continue to develop poor coping skills which, as Cynthia describes, was spilling into my and my family's life. Cynthia Orange's book affirmed my experiences and my love for my husband, who is mostly loving, thoughtful, kind and a wonderful father. I especially appreciated the section on children and how to work them into this love equation since now we have a 4 year old and a 19 month old (both additional triggers to increase my husbands distress). My husband is now in therapy towards recovery from his PTSD and I hold my Shockwave book as a tool to help me also move hand in hand with him. This is a must own book; espeically if you are someone loving someone who has developed PTSD from something other than war. This book covers all forms of PTSD and is a wonderful resource for those lovers who find more veteran related PTSD help then not- the websources and book references alone are worth the price of this book!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Slettehaugh on June 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was really moved by this book. We don't have family members with PTSD but have friends that do. I probably was more curious than anything, while wanting to be a good friend.

I found much more than I expected. There is much that we all can learn from this book. In our family severe depression has been an unwelcome visitor. Finding the balance to be supportive and helpful, while not making it worse is painfully challenging. I also found it crucial to remember to take care of myself in order to be helpful to my loved ones in depression. For me that may be the most difficult, guilt-ladened task. I needed this book more than I knew.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tomie Nelson on December 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The more you know about this disease and the side effects and detrement the better off you, your spouse, your family, and others will be. Very insightful, full of lots of great information that was an eye opener to my wife and me as the subconcious, physical, and subliminal effects of PTSD that I (we) never would have correlated the two, and I've been in the medical field 22+ years. Bless my wifes heart for taking the initiative to learn so much about PTSD and not giving up on me. This was one of her tools and I read it after her. She now understands what 's going on better than I do, thanks to help from this book as well. I live with PTSD, but she understands it better.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dianne on July 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cynthia Orange has written a beautiful book, unique in it's scope and literary quality. With an insider's viewpoint, she writes a book of essential help for caretakers of victims who have experienced the horrors of a wide variety of trauma. The core message of self care while reaching out to loved ones who are traveling through a personal healing process is vital and important. Not limiting the definition of trauma to war veterans, she explains how PTSD can have a wide variety of sources which can all have an affect on loving relationships. Relating personal stories of those who have "been there", she writes with a poet's flow while giving practical suggestions for survival when experiencing secondary trauma. Orange clearly shows how these "Shock Waves" ripple through the lives of all those touched by Post Traumatic Stress. This is an amazing, thoughtful, and inspiring book which will leave the readers with a message of hope.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dchingo on November 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was intrigued by the title of this book. I am a mental health professional and have had a lot of training in treating PTSD, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). I had seen very little on the subject from a spouse or significant other's perspective. This book will help those of us who help families living with the effects of trauma be better clinicians for the whole family. The book is well written and the author is fearless in disclosing how trauma affected her and her children. The insights from this perspective are highly valuable in treating the trauma survivor and the family. She also includes some very helpful websites. poems and other writings that will be beneficial in treating the families.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeffre A. Smith Smith on August 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Cynthia's new book is so needed in this time we find ourselves in. Fighting two wars, a global economic recession, people are hurting and they need help. She has taken a topic that can be taboo and made it a topic we can learn to not only live with but to survive with. I recommend this to anyone who is supporting a loved one who is hurting. It will open your mind and your heart.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beverly on June 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was book was such a easy read. I think most of us are touched in some way by PTSD. This book demonstrates that is isn't only a product of war but can happen from any traumatic event. This is a helpful guide for all family members and I highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

I am Cynthia, daughter of Florence who was a maker of quilts, 80-year-old Internet explorer, and infinitely patient mentor of children. I am granddaughter of Vernie, who taught me how to embroider; great-grand daughter of Nettie Whipple, who dressed up each afternoon to sit at the kitchen window and wait for her secret love from her girlhood days to come and call; great-great-grand daughter of Lucy, about whom I know nothing.

This matrilineal and tribal response is what immediately came to mind when I answered the question "Who are you?" a while back. I look at my hands these days and see the same wrinkled roses in my knuckles that I saw in my grandmother's hands as I held them in mine when she lay dying. I hug the afghan my mother made me tight to my body as if by doing so I can somehow keep her here, alive and warm. These strong women are gone now, but I see them still in my equally strong--yet gentle--daughter and in her sweet twin boys--the grandsons I adore.

I am also a writer, editor, and writing consultant. I've written several books; published over 500 articles, columns and guest editorials in a number of magazines and newspapers throughout the country, and my essays and poetry have appeared in various literary journals. I have been fortunate enough to receive awards for poetry, creative nonfiction, essays, and newspaper articles. When time permits, I teach creative writing at the Loft Literary Center and University of Minnesota. I encourage students to look for metaphor, nuance, and story in the mundane as well as in the magnificent. I believe that writing helps us become more discriminating readers, more astute and artful observers, and more engaged citizens. I know I'm doing my job when students tell me writing is changing the way they view the world.

Since my first girlhood diary, I've used writing as a way to figure things out and connect my internal and external realities. I became a single mother after a divorce in the early 1970s, when my daughter was just three months old, a profound experience that actually launched my writing career. During that time, I wrote the first poem I ever sold, and years later, a line from that early poem--Sing Your Own Song--became the title of book published in 2001. I also began an educational quest when I was a single mom and, although it took me a total of twenty-five years, I now hold Bachelor and Master degrees. Among other writing endeavors, I've been privileged to write for the esteemed Hazelden Foundation for the past 25 years. I also co-authored a book in 1993 called New Life, New Friends with my good friend and mentor Christina Baldwin, and I was one of the authors of a still-popular meditation book for families entitled Today's Gift that was published by Hazelden in 1985.

Although it sounds like a B movie, I met my soul mate, Michael, in 1968 at the top of the Empire State Building when I was visiting New York with two girlfriends from Minnesota, and Michael was there with several of his seminary high-school friends from Ohio. We felt an instant connection, and I came home and announced to my best friend, "I met the man I know I could happily marry." Then he went off to march in the Vietnam War and I marched against it, but our friendship remained unshakable; our correspondence honest and constant. Meanwhile, I married someone else, gave birth to my beautiful daughter, and later divorced. When Michael moved to Minnesota in 1973, we got married. He adopted Jessica, and we became an "official" family. I soon discovered, however, that when I married Michael, I also married Vietnam and the trauma he carried from his combat experience.

My most recent book--Shock Waves--is about our journey and the journeys of others who, like us, have learned to live with the challenges and scars of trauma and the "shock wave" effects of PTSD.

Michael and I feel we have achieved a good balance of living fully in the intimate world of family and friends as well as in the world at large. Our personal experience with war and trauma has strengthened our commitment to working with others who struggle with these issues. I co-facilitate a caregivers' support group, and Michael and I often speak to audiences about the effects of trauma and war in our continuing involvement with veterans and veterans' issues.

I began writing Shock Waves on the eve of our 36th anniversary, and I'm happy to report that our marriage and life together continue to grow richer and stronger, even though the journey has not always been smooth or easy. We are deliriously happy being "Meema and Papa" to our young grandsons, and we cherish the close relationship we have with our daughter and son-in-law. Who could ask for more?


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Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One's PTSD
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