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Resources for Recovery: Reintegration and Intimacy (For Families)

Reintegration is about more than coming home. It is about resuming and establishing relationships that provide pleasure, comfort and support. Intimacy — the capacity to enjoy closeness and sexual togetherness — is an important part of reintegration whether a service member is single, married or married with children. Intimacy enhances personal health, relationship health and family health.

Many service members returning from deployment will experience what are referred to as “invisible injuries”. Invisible injuries include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), depression and anxiety that can result from combat exposure. Sometimes alcohol, tobacco and drug misuse, as well as impulsive or violent behavior can compound these conditions. All of these problems can compromise intimacy reducing one’s ability to enjoy pleasurable relationships and sexual activity.