Unfortunately for our brave troops, PTSD in military veterans is a fact of life. An estimated 13.5% of veterans employed in Iraq and Afghanistan go on to develop PTSD, with as many as half a million soldiers suffering PTSD in the US today.
The prevalence of PTSD in military veterans is high, which is why being able to identify and effectively treat it is crucial. If you are a former veteran struggling with what you think is PTSD, or perhaps a loved one of a veteran who you worry is suffering, then it is important to know exactly how to spot it and what you can do.
Here is your guide to approaching and treating PTSD in military veterans.
Symptoms of PTSD in Military Veterans
PTSD is a complex mental and emotional condition. There is no “one-size-fits-all” prognosis for PTSD, as it can manifest itself in many ways. PTSD in military veterans does, however, have a number of common symptoms that you may recognize.
For example, sufferers typically experience recurrent reminders and flashbacks of traumatic events, such as injuries and death seen in the field of battle. PTSD sufferers may become withdrawn from the world, as they seek to avoid any reminders of the traumatic event.
Dramatic mood swings are also common. In addition, sudden paranoia, aggression, and extreme bouts of depression are symptoms of PTSD in military veterans.
Major PTSD Risk Factors
For military veterans, there are a number of risk factors that can lead to the development of PTSD or the exacerbation of symptoms. Chief among these is exposure to extreme traumatic events.
For veterans, this can mean severe injury, witnessing death, injury to civilians, assault, or sexual abuse. A major risk factor is a military rank, as certain ranks and positions in the military are significantly more likely to experience PTSD than others.
Typically, so-called deployment stressors, such as extreme desert heat, lack of privacy on base, and concerns about loved ones back home, can all contribute to PTSD. Being aware of the risk factors will help evaluate the situation of a potential PTSD sufferer and will be able to inform treatment.
Treating PTSD in Veterans
Treating PTSD in veterans involves a multi-faceted approach. Chief among these is encouraging a sufferer to reach and receive counseling. Trained therapists with many years of experience in treating veterans with PTSD will be able to help you come to terms with your condition and move past it.
There are also lifestyle changes that are often recommended for anyone believed to be suffering from PTSD. An avoidance of stressors is a key one, which includes reducing exposure to loud noises and images of violence.
Lifestyle changes such as spending more time outdoors, exercising regulatory, avoiding alcohol, and sticking to a healthy sleeping pattern, all help to relieve the symptoms of PTSD.
Counseling Options for PTSD Sufferers
PTSD in military veterans can be difficult, but it is treatable. With the right counseling resources, you can move beyond PTSD and into recovery.
To learn more about the treatment options available for veterans suffering from PTSD; do not hesitate to get in touch with our expert team today for a discreet, understanding, and helpful consultation.