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Veterans Mental Health

By |2020-01-14T00:14:37+00:00January 6th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , , |

Information for this article was pulled from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. If you or a loved one is a U.S. military veteran, explore further physical and mental health resources here.

Members of the United States Armed Forces sacrifice quite a bit during their years of service. Veterans affairs is always a hot button topic in the United States. As many have pointed out, there is a gulf between the respect veterans deserve and their treatment once they retire. Read on to learn about veteran mental health, more particularly, common mental health issues in veterans.

Mental Health Treatment For Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs treated 2.1 million veterans for the five year period of 2006-2010. Yet the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that only 50% of veterans received the necessary mental health treatment in that period. This led to the federal government establishing the Interagency Task Force on Military Mental Health in August, 2012.

There are a few reasons why ex-military members struggle to connect to mental health resources. These reasons are identified by the Government Accountability Office, as well as independent psychology studies.

  • The military has increasingly equal gender opportunity but is still predominantly male. Many male veterans experience a perceived shame for seeking mental health assistance. In addition to the shame, many male veterans also feel weak or less masculine for seeking mental health help.
  • Long wait times to receive treatment.
  • Logistical issues in accessing treatment.
  • Distrust that the V.A. mental health treatment options.
  • Lack of funds to seek mental health options outside of V.A.

Common Issues With Veterans’ Mental Health

Substance Abuse

As many as a quarter of people who experience overseas deployment have a substance abuse issue. Many people think of substance abuse as a problem with hard drugs. However, a majority of substance abuse issues are actually with alcohol, followed closely by prescription drugs.

Prescription drug addiction is an issue in general in the United States right now. Veterans, however, are at a higher risk of exposure to addictive pain meds to the increased risk of injury while deployed.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is the brain’s response to a severe trauma, such as combat situations. PTSD causes the sufferer to relive the traumatic event and to experience panic attacks triggered by situations similar to the event. For example, a veteran who went through a traumatic event involving an IED shouldn’t be around fireworks going off. PTSD symptoms also align closely with anxiety and depression.

Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety and depression, while common in the general population of civilians, is even more prevalent in veterans. The two have a variety of symptoms, which we have explored in the past. Psychologists link depression to past events and anxiety to worry about the future.

Symptoms Of Poor Mental Health

By |2019-12-03T21:33:32+00:00November 19th, 2019|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , |

Fortunately, discussions of health and wellness nowadays nearly always includes mental health. That’s for good reason. Mental health and physical health have been linked time and time again. Mental health is a spectrum with a wide variety of possibilities on both the good and bad side. No two mental illnesses look the same, even when two people have the same diagnosis. Join us as we break down the most common symptoms of mental illness.

A few notes before we start. This is by no means a comprehensive list of symptoms; every form of mental illness has different warning signs. If you or someone you love needs assistance, please reach out to a mental health care professional. There is a comprehensive list of helplines, crisis lines, online chats, and text messaging for a variety of issues here. All of these resources are free and most are operational 24/7.

  1. Excessive Sadness.

It is normal for humans to experience sadness occasionally. However, the sadness of mental illness is unmistakably different. It is a deep sadness that is almost like a cloud over people who are affected. From the outside, the sadness may seem illogical or excessive. Inside, the person is suffering greatly, and the melancholy feels inescapable.

  1. Extreme Mood Swings.

Mental illness often pushes emotions to their extreme. Those who are suffering either experience emotion at its extremes or have a complete absence of emotion. When dealing with the extremes, the mind often switches rapidly through despair, anger, and euphoria.

  1. Aversion To Socializing

Oftentimes, people with mental illness struggle to make it through the day while completing the bare minimum required of them. The sufferer is left with no social energy at the end of the day. This mental and emotional exhaustion means that they do not want to spend much time with other people. They will often disconnect from people entirely. If they do socialize, it is irregularly and often for short periods of time.

  1. Changes In Schedule

Changes in schedule include changes in appetite, sleeping habits, and sex drive. For appetite, the mental illness returns again to extreme. Either the individual loses all of their appetite, or they turn to binge eating. The same happens with sleep schedules. Insomnia is a common symptom of many mental illnesses, as is sleeping all day. Even if the person is getting the proper amount of sleep, it may be on the wrong schedule.

  1. Substance Abuse

Abusing drugs and alcohol is a fairly common way to cope with mental illness. The process is commonly referred to self-medicating. Substance abuse allows the individual to escape their problems, or at least distract themselves from them.

  1. Physical Problems

In psychology, there is a term for the physical side effects of a mental illness; psychosomatic symptoms. There is not one specific type of psychosomatic issue. It often presents as headaches, stomachaches or other vague pains. Some people may use the terms “run down” or “sore

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.