Our expert says:
Debriefing is quackery, and I strongly advise anyone exposed to trauma to refuse to accept it. It is a quack method which was heavily marketed by some minor shrinks, greatly to their own profit, and accompanied by major claims none of which have held up in research, which has found at best NO benefits at all, and at worst, there is good evidence that many people are worse off after Debriefing than folks exposed to similar eents, wi were not debriefed.
So, in rejecting Debriefing, your husband is absolutely correct. HOWEVER --- he is not right in assuming that all shrinks would insist on carrying out this useless method. The psychologist you spoke to sounds right --- what you are describing sounds very like PTSD, the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which left on its own usually becomes a chronic and serious disorder, but which can inded be greatly helped by proper treatment. This would include the use of an antidepressant, not necessarily for its antidepressant effects, but to correct similar chemical imbalances that are part of PTSD ; and counselling / psychotherapy.
Try to explain to your husband that it is unfortunate that his first experience was unhelpful --- possibly the person he saw was sincerely trying to help, using a method which has been widely and irresponsibly touted with claims that it would be ideal for someone in the state he was in --and who may not have been familiar with the evidence that it was very unlikely to help. But right now he needs and deserves proper expert assessment and treatment, to end this unpleasant state he is getting into, and to help him to return to his normal frame of mind, for his sake, as well as for you and the children. It is not, as some men worry, a sign of weakness to respond in this way to such an ugly experience --- it's a sign of a strong and normal person responding to highly abnormal events.
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