PTSD in Veterans: Different Types and Unique Challenges

PTSD can lead to avoiding activities and people that used to bring enjoyment. This can cause problems with family life and the person’s ability to function at work, hobbies, or other daily tasks.

Symptoms of PTSD can recur from time to time, but many treatment options can reduce or eliminate them. Some of these include:

Anger

Anger is a common problem associated with PTSD. Anger can show up as irritability or being jumpy and nervous. It can also be displayed as aggressive, hurtful behavior aimed at family members and others. This kind of anger often stems from a feeling that people are not supporting them or caring for their needs. It can also respond to feelings of shame, guilt or remorse.

Another common problem is depression. It can show up as a general feeling of being low in mood or having little interest in things that were once fun and exciting. It can also lead to alcohol or drug abuse to try and feel better.

When a veteran shows these symptoms, it is important not to take it personally. Instead, remember that it is part of the PTSD experience and that there are ways to help them manage these reactions. Therapy and medication may help to reduce the intensity of these responses. These methods are CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). These techniques help to calm the nervous system so that a person does not have so many overwhelming negative emotions simultaneously.

Relationships

Many Veterans with PTSD have difficulty trusting others, including family members. This can lead to severe relationship problems, especially with those closest to the Veteran. They may feel unloved and become irritable and jumpy, even towards those they love. This can damage those close relationships and cause people to avoid them, which further exacerbates symptoms of PTSD.

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Research has shown that a variety of treatments for PTSD can help, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and several other behavioral therapies. These can be used alone or as adjunctive treatment to medication. Various medications can also be helpful for depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders that often co-exist with PTSD.

Support groups are another option. Joining a group can be an excellent way to talk about experiences and feelings with other veterans who understand what the person is going through. It can be a great relief to know that someone else understands, and it can help to relieve stress. Educating yourself about how many types of PTSD are there is also important to recognize better what your loved one is going through and support them.

Depression

Depression is a serious mood disorder that can significantly impact your quality of life and ability to cope with your daily responsibilities. Various factors, including hormonal imbalances, genetics and environmental stresses can cause it. It is commonly found in conjunction with PTSD.

When you experience a trauma, your nervous system goes through a “fight-or-flight” response, which mobilizes your body, boosting your heart rate and blood pressure and making you stronger to survive the threat. Your nervous system should wind down and return to a normal balance when the danger has passed. When it does not, you are left feeling stuck and emotionally numb.

This can lead to despair, hopelessness and a general lack of motivation. In addition, people with PTSD may develop severe relationship problems and feel disconnected from loved ones. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek treatment. Treatment may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and various talk therapies. Addressing any issues causing stress and anxiety, such as family or work, is crucial.

Detachment

The painful memories associated with PTSD can cause a person to become detached from their family and friends. They may feel they do not belong to society or can no longer participate in the activities they enjoyed before their deployment. Over time, this can lead to problems with family and friends that result in separation or divorce.

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The feelings of fear and anxiety accompanying PTSD can also interfere with work performance and relationships at home. It is not unusual for veterans to develop a substance abuse problem to cope with these unpleasant symptoms. Symptoms like insomnia, irritability, difficulty concentrating and memory loss can all impact the quality of work performed by people with PTSD.

Research on PTSD and intimate relationship problems indicate that a combination of psychopathology in both individuals is likely to contribute to the development of these issues. Several studies of couples have shown that the self-report PTSD symptom scores of partners are inversely related to their satisfaction with the overall quality of their relationship.

Substance Abuse

Many Veterans struggle with substance abuse as a result of PTSD. This can include both prescription and illegal drugs. It can negatively impact family life, work, and other aspects of a person’s life.

According to NIMH, individuals with PTSD often have intrusive symptoms such as flashbacks, bad dreams, or being easily startled. They also develop avoidance symptoms such as staying away from people, places or things that remind them of the traumatic event. This can lead to feeling cut off from society and losing interest in activities they used to enjoy.

It is important to remember that PTSD and war experiences are not excuses for abusive behavior toward others. This is a very serious problem that should not be ignored.

Treatment is available for those with PTSD who need help. The first part of treatment is often devoted to building trust and rapport with your therapist. This process can be difficult for those with PTSD who may not have opened up to anyone.

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