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How does PTSD Affect Veterans?

How does PTSD Affect Veterans?

Veterans who sacrifice their lives to defend our country often come back home from combat with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many veterans with PTSD go untreated and turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their condition. They often become dependent on or addicted to drugs and alcohol, which puts them at high risk of overdose or death. Sadly, many veterans who do not seek help for PTSD die by suicide.

Our service men and women can experience horrific situations in combat. They see gruesome scenes, get shot at, receive physical wounds, and see colleagues die. When service ends and they come home, certain sights, smells, and sounds can trigger veterans with PTSD. A loud noise, such as fireworks, can heighten the symptoms of PTSD. Service men and women with PTSD relive tragedies through vivid memories of their experiences and they have a hard time adjusting to normal civilian life. In addition to PTSD, many have anxiety and depression disorders.

When veterans self-medicate, they are at high risk of developing an addiction. Mental health conditions combined with an addiction to drugs or alcohol must be treated. Drugs or alcohol can worsen the symptoms of PTSD and cause higher levels of anxiety or depression. Sadly, a large number of untreated veterans with PTSD die by suicide.

Service dogs are used for veterans with PTSD. Service dogs are proven to help veterans cope with the symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD are lack of interest, detachment, appetite loss, disruptive sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating. Some service dogs are trained for nightmare and anxiety interruption. They recognize symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, and nightmares, such as heavy breathing, restlessness when sleeping, twitching, clenched fists, and rocking back and forth. The service dog also acts as a loyal companion for the veteran with PTSD.

Veterans with PTSD need to seek help from a mental health professional. Without help, a veteran with PTSD is at high risk of hurting his or herself. Drugs and alcohol are very counterproductive and harmful to a person’s well being. When a person is living with PTSD ¬†drugs and alcohol can be an easy fix, but also very deadly.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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