There are over 22 million veterans in the United States alone. You’ve seen the videos and pictures of happy reunions and the memorials for fallen soldiers. But what about the struggles that you can't see?
One of the most common mental health issues among vets is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This condition occurs after experiencing a long-term stressful situation (such as being in war). This doesn’t happen to ALL soldiers and it can happen to someone outside of the military.
What You Need To Know
Mentally recreating the memories
You may have nightmares.
You may feel like you're going through the event again (aka having a flashback).
You may see, hear, or smell something that causes you to relive the event (aka a trigger).
Avoiding conditions that remind you of the trauma
Difficulty showing emotions
Challenges The psychological and physical pain that occurs from reliving the terrible events makes living a "normal" life fairly impossible. This inability to reengage in life causes a strain on relationships. And for many, the result is things begin to fall apart.
Support Systems Roughly 12 to 20 percent of Iraqi soldiers are estimated to have PTSD, but less than two-fifths will seek help. Places like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have several available resources and clinic info on where those with PTSD can get help.