War is a traumatic experience for many veterans. After returning home from war, many veterans begin to develop various mental issues within 3-4 months. If you have a veteran in your life who is going through a crisis after returning home from battle, there are ways to help your loved one during this difficult time.
Helping Those With Invisible Wounds
We always want what is best for our loved ones, but sometimes it can be hard to help them during the time of a crisis. When our loved ones are struggling with depression, substance abuse, PTSD or anxiety, it can be difficult to know how to get them help without overstepping our boundaries or suffocating them.
When veterans return home from war, they are faced with the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life, which may include searching for employment, locating a place to live, finding reliable transportation, and coping with any physical or health problems. All of these things can be made much more difficult when struggling with mental or behavioral issues.
Recognizing Mental Conditions
If you have a loved one who seems to be struggling after returning home from war, you can help. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, chances are that your loved one needs some assistance in finding the help that he or she needs.
Signs and symptoms of PTSD or depression in a veteran may include:
- Having recurring memories, flashbacks, or nightmares of the traumatic event (or events)
- Loss of interest in things that they once loved, or a general numbness
- Anger and irritability
- Appearing anxious or jittery
- Thoughts of always being in danger
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble getting along with loved ones, including friends and family
- Avoiding places that remind them of a traumatic event
- Drinking or using drugs to numb feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, or thoughts or threats about harming others
- Becoming isolated and pulling away from loved ones
This self-assessment may be helpful for detecting PTSD. Self-assessments are also available for depression, alcohol abuse, and substance abuse.
In addition to PTSD, veterans may suffer from anxiety disorders, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, schizophrenia, adjustment disorder, or traumatic brain injury. Many signs and symptoms of PTSD may overlap with any of these conditions, so it is important to seek help since each condition has its own treatment protocol for veterans.
How You Can Help
Sometimes, a crisis may build up over time, or it may reveal itself in the form of an emergency. In the case of an emergency, immediately call 911 or go to a nearby Emergency Room. During any time of the day or night, you may call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255. Crisis counselors are also available to chat online anytime at the Veterans Crisis Line website.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, other resources are also available.
- Visit the Stop Solider Suicide website for information about finding hotlines, treatments, professional resources, and more. Resources are readily available for soldiers and veterans, or their loved ones who are trying to get help for a veteran in need.
- Homeless veterans or veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless should visit the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans. Veterans or their families may also call -877-424-3838 at any time day or night. The Homeless Veterans chat service is another option.
- For information about traumatic brain injury, PTSD, or psychological health, please visit the DCoE Outreach Center. They can be reached by phone at 866-966-1020, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by chatting with them online.
- Military OneSource includes resources for everything involving finances, education and employment, family and relationships, health and wellness, and deployment and transition.
- Wounded warriors, service members, and veterans and their families can all benefit from the National Resource Directory. This website provides resources for recovery options, rehabilitation, and community reintegration.
- Search for programs and treatment options in your area by clicking on the Program Locators tab of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. You will also find additional tabs for Treatment Info, Screening Tools, and Benefits & claims.
- Self-help options are also available.
How You Can Help To Fund Veterans' Programs
Whether you have a veteran in your life or not, you may be passionate about helping to provide veterans with the resources they need after returning from war. Donate a car, truck, boat, motorcycle, or other vehicle and help to fund programs and services that benefit veterans in your area. Call us at 1-855-811-4838 or fill out our online car donation form. Your donation makes a difference!
When you donate a vehicle to Vehicles For Veterans, you receive free pick up or towing of your vehicle, a tax deduction, and an easy way to get rid of a vehicle, whether it runs or not. Plus, vehicle donation contributes to the green movement. Donate a vehicle today!