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18
Oct

How Should Veterans Deal With Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

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Lone soldier on a beach looking out to seaBeing a veteran can be very tough, and it can leave unseen marks on anyone who goes through such experience. Many veterans suffer from symptoms of PTSD once they return from the military, and this could seriously impact their lives subsequently.

If you or someone you know has been a veteran and you have constant feelings of disconnection, numbness or panic, then it’s important to know how to cope with them. You are not the only one experiencing this, as there are many other veterans who are striving to live a normal life.

The following paragraphs can teach you how to deal with every symptom that tries you after such a traumatic experience.

Causes

Veterans often experience PTSD due to events that happened while they were in the military. Basically, it’s known as combat stress, and it happens after you are going through life-threatening events, something that is very possible while in the military.

Therefore, it’s not unusual to feel trauma after going through these things. However, it’s important to know exactly what caused it to develop, as it will make it easier for you to understand it and deal with it.

So, some of the causes of PTSD in veterans are:

  • Combat
  • Life-threatening situations
  • Sexual trauma
  • Witnessing the death of other people

Symptoms

There are situations when PTSD doesn’t surface immediately – it can take months, and even years to experience the effects it has on you. Everyone is different, so it can manifest in many ways in each veteran. Here are some things you may experience as a veteran with PTSD:

  • Avoidance of things that remind you of the trauma

There may be places, valuables, people or situations that remind you of the time you were going through the traumatic event. So, you tend to avoid them as much as possible, and you back off from people and lose interest in activities.

  • Reliving the event

You may experience flashbacks of the event that was traumatic to you, and you may feel like it’s taking place again. It can lead to palpitations, shaking and even panic attacks.

  • Being always on guard

You may never let your guard down, and you may react very quickly to things. Moreover, you can feel anger, irritability, you may experience insomnia and have trouble concentrating.

How to Deal With PTSD

There are some ways that can help you deal with the symptoms and live a better life, even after experiencing all that traumatic stuff in the military. Here are some things that could help you manage the symptoms:

  1. Connect With Other PTSD People

It’s important to realize that you are not alone in this and that there are other people facing the same issues as you are. Many times, someone who hasn’t experienced the same things will not properly understand how you feel and may tell you to get over it.

On the other hand, connecting with other veterans who have PTSD is different, because they know exactly how you feel. You don’t have to become best friends, but telling someone about your experience and getting an unbiased opinion can have benefits. Not only that you get it out of your chest, but you also have someone who understands you.

In order to do this, you can reach out to someone who’s in need to communicate their problems too. This way, you can connect and both share your experiences, thus improving your situation for the better.

Moreover, there are PTSD support groups that will bring you closer to other veterans going through the same thing. Consequently, you won’t feel so isolated anymore and will be on your way to recovering.

  1. Learn How to Deal With Flashbacks

Flashbacks can be a horrible experience because they take you back to all the trauma. For veterans, these usually include memories from the combat, both visual and auditory ones.

You need to do your best to reassure your mind that the experience is long gone, and the flashback is not real.

In order to snap out of it and come back to reality, you can start moving around, shaking your head or rubbing your hands together. You can also throw some cold water on your face to come back to reality, or drink a glass of cold water. If you have a stress ball or anything of that sort, you can play with it and reduce some of the struggle.

  1. Seek Professional Help

When you feel like you can’t go on with your life properly because of mental health issues, you should reach out to someone who can help you and not judge you. Therefore, you can try getting professional help for your PTSD issues, confront it and accept that it’s a part of your past. Treatment from the therapist may involve counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing and medication.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Due to PTSD, you may deal with anger, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty to concentrate, and these can have a bad impact on your body. So, it’s important to take important steps to deal with these symptoms.

If necessary, find safe ways to release your anger, such as going for a run, singing to loud music, pounding on a punching bag or many others.

Relaxation is important for your body, so try to meditate, go to yoga classes or go get a massage. They can relieve depression and anxiety, and help you sleep better. While we’re here, make sure you get enough sleep. Too little or no sleep can have a lot of unhealthy effects on your body, and it increases anger, moodiness, and irritability.

To fall asleep earlier, take hot showers, listen to calming music or read something. Ideally, you should get about 7 to 9 hours of good sleep each night.

Moreover, avoid drugs and alcohol, as they can worsen your PTSD symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with PTSD can be very tough, as it has effects on your body and everyday life. Even though it seems unlikely, you can work on dealing with these symptoms, and accept that the trauma is part of your past. Through this article, you should find it easier to deal with PTSD as a veteran.

 

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