Emily Walsh: Veterans and Health Literacy pt.2

Emily Walsh

Besides physical injuries that are sustained during wartime, the most common ailments affecting our troops today are mental health problems.  The most prevalent mental health issue is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.  PTSD occurs after experiencing a traumatic event, like a war or an assault.  Symptoms include flashbacks to the traumatic event, feelings of anger, anxiety, or depression, and trouble sleeping.  PTSD is a serious condition but can be treated by a trained professional.  The doctor may prescribe medication or just “talk therapy”.  If your loved one is experiencing PTSD symptoms it is important to encourage them to seek help because PTSD can be damaging to relationships.

Substance abuse is another mental health problem common to veterans.  Substance abuse is treated similar to PTSD, although a rehab program may be necessary for some patients.  It is also possible that substance abuse can be connected with PTSD so contacting a trained professional is the best way to find a treatment right for you.

It can be frightening knowing that you or a loved one is more at risk for certain health issues because of their military service.  However, there are many services available to veterans who experience these common ailments because of their service and that makes coping with them a lot easier.

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