It may seem on this blog that I tend to downplay the effects of PTSD on our soldiers, but that isn’t my intent at all! It’s just that combat PTSD is so well known and I want to shed light on other types of PTSD. But today, in honor of Veteran’s Day earlier this week, I want to look at how PTSD is affecting our veterans.
Like all PTSD, our soldiers suffer from exposure to trauma. For them, it is usually due to combat. Being fired at, experiencing an IED explosion, watching friends being injured or killed, and having to kill others are all extremely traumatic experiences. And these experiences are often repeated and ongoing, with no option to escape. Because of this, veteran PTSD can be some of the most severe cases.
Of course, once the soldier is home, this PTSD affects their whole family. The anxiety, depression, irritability, and hopelessness make it difficult for them to rebuild a normal life and can often cause major stress and trouble. This is one of the reasons that soldiers commit suicide at over twice the rate of civilians.
But just like all PTSD and trauma survivors, there is hope. The VA has put a lot of effort into combating PTSD. Veterans and soldiers can reach out to medical professionals. The VA’s National PTSD Center’s website has immediate support for those who feel they may be suffering from PTSD or who are struggling with suicidal thoughts. They even have a live confidential veterans chat along with support phone numbers.
If you are a veteran and feel you need help, reach out. There is hope if you take advantage of the resources available. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.