Making the decision to enlist in a branch of the United States military will change the life of anyone who chooses the path. However, military personnel who are involved in active duty during a time of war can face a unique map of change in their lives once they return home.
The risk of choosing to serve your country is large, which is why the choice is so honored. It’s important that veterans and those who love them understand the mental health challenges that could arise along the way.
Take a few moments to read through a brief overview of a few of the most common mental health challenges faced by military veterans today.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
It’s very common for military personnel to return home from active duty deployment having seen and experienced some extremely stressful events. Being injured on the battlefield, witnessing a disaster, or suffering a sexual assault can leave an individual in mental shock.
When a person experiences post-traumatic stress disorder, they often face reliving the incident over and over again in their mind. The stress of the mental disorder can cause trouble leading a normal, productive life.
The trauma and stress that can happen during active duty in times of war can leave soldiers who come home with a lasting depression. Veterans who suffer from PTSD are more likely to also suffer from the pain of depression.
Depression can cause problems with a person’s ability to get quality sleep at night. Lack of sleep only increases the down feelings of someone suffering from depression.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Soldiers who were deployed to serve in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan had a 20 percent chance of coming home with a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (or TBIs) cause the brain to act and react differently.
Sometimes the challenge is temporary, and some veterans deal with the repercussions of their TBI for the rest of their lives. Living with a TBI can mean an inability to function in mainstream society, causing a long list of challenges along the way.
Drug and alcohol addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction is rampant among military veterans. The transition back into mainstream society isn’t always a simple thing for some soldiers, and drugs/alcohol are a common coping mechanism.
Importance of reaching out
All that being said, it’s important to understand how to reach out for help. There are numerous organizations centered around the assistance of military veterans, you just have to take advantage of the services being offered. There’s no valor in hiding these mental struggles, and asking for help is the first step towards healing the broken parts of your mind.