If you have ever been to war or know someone who has im sure you have seen scars. Not all scars are visible. Many soldiers including myself suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Webster Learners Dictionary describes PTSD as:
A mental condition that can affect a person who has had a very shocking or difficult experience (such as fighting in a war) and that is usually characterized by depression, anxiety, etc.
Although many veterans live with this everyday im not sure if family and friends realize how severe this disorder is. Symptoms can start within three months of a traumatic experience, but sometimes they may not appear until years after. Symptoms may include but are not limited to :
flashbacks, upsetting dreams about the traumatic experience, Avoiding places or people that remind you of the event, inability to feel positive emotions, feeling emotionally numb, angry outburst, being easily startled, trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, and difficulty maintaining close relationships.
Having PTSD can disrupt your health, relationships, and even your job. PTSD can cause a high risk to other problems such as eating disorders, issues with drugs and alcohol, or even suicide thoughts. There is not a cure for PTSD but theyre ways to better cope with the disorder. Most veterans try to ignore the signs due to reactions from the public. Some reactions that I have heard are:
-theirs nothing wrong with them
-they are just trying to get some benefits
– if I had went I would’ve came back normal
– they were crazy before they left
Hearing things like this from family and friends can sometimes cause a veteran to hold feelings in or to try to act “normal”. In return this can cause him or her to be very depressed or have angry outbursts once they feel like they can no longer hold the feelings in. This can also cause vets to not want to be around people which is why you see a lot of vets grocery shopping at 2 or 3 am. Imagine being sad, angry, or irritable. Now imagine feeling that way every second of the day. I hear vets say that at times they go for days without speaking to loved ones. Its nothing against family members or friends its just comfortable to be by yourself. You don’t have to worry about hurt feelings, letting anyone down, or explaining how you feel to loved ones. Its sad to say that for this very reason many vets fail to ask for help and end up homeless. If you know a vet that suffers from Ptsd encourage them to get the help that they need. If they are already receiving help make sure they are taking their medication and continuing to attend their classes. Like I said their isn’t a cure but it can definitely help them to cope better, and it just might save their life.Link to original