June is PTSD Awareness Month
Having your loved one return from a deployment is an occasion to celebrate. However, when the service member returns from a deployment with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), this time of togetherness is sometimes shadowed by intrusive and painful memories of combat, severe mood swings, and difficulty sleeping for the service member. Recognizing the impact that this disorder has on some service members, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has dedicated June as PTSD Awareness Month.
Sometimes it is hard to determine if your service member is suffering from PTSD. Other times, you may recognize it, but your loved one may not see the symptoms in themselves. If you think you or your loved one may have symptoms of PTSD, check out the VA’s online assessment tool. To see a comprehensive list of PTSD symptoms, visit the VA’s National Center for PTSD website. There are many resources available to help reduce anxiety, depression, or other symptoms. However, you should consider seeing a behavioral health professional if you have symptoms of PTSD or any other mental health issue.
The National Center for Telehealth and Technology has developed a list of mobile apps which may aid in managing PTSD. These apps include tools such as relaxation techniques, finding positive activities in your area, and information on how PTSD affects your body and mood.
PTSD affects 1 in 5 service members who served in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. It’s important to realize you are not alone in the PTSD battle. To see just a few experiences from others’ PTSD journeys, visit AboutFace, a website created by the VA’s National Center for PTSD, featuring video testimonials from service members who have dealt with the effects of PTSD in their own lives.
Many organizations have compiled resources on PTSD, tips on how to treat it, and suggestions for available help. Visit our Mental Health Care section, Real Warriors, AfterDeployment, and the VA for more information and ways to cope.
If you are looking for a place to get started caring for your service member, visit the VA’s section on PTSD today.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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