Mental health services for veterans is essential in helping the military with combat-related mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 4 active duty members showed signs of a mental health condition. Families are often unequipped to handle their loved one’s mental health conditions alone after their return from combat. These conditions can cause a rippling effect throughout a family circle and affect spouses, children, and parents. If left untreated, these conditions could develop into life-threatening conditions. Fortunately, at Harmony Bay Wellness in greater south Jersey, we have the experience to address mental health. Our programs and therapies encourage positive mental health for veterans.
Common Mental Health Concerns for Veterans
Four of the most common mental health concerns veterans face include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)- this occurs when someone has witnessed a traumatic event such as a terrorist act, war/combat, or other personal assault. Some effects of PTSD include anger, nightmares, trouble sleeping, alcohol and drug abuse, being jumpy. Veterans are 15 times more likely to experience PTSD than civilians making our PTSD therapy a vital treatment.
- Depression – is a common mental health issue among veterans that interferes with their daily lives. Veterans are five times more likely to experience depression than civilians. Depression is a serious mental health condition that causes intense feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, loss of energy, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – this is usually a result of a significant injury to the head. Symptoms include headaches, memory problems, drowsiness, and mood swings.
- Substance Abuse: Combat veterans and substance abuse are heavily linked. Studies have shown that 25 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans have experienced issues with substance use disorder (SUD) upon return.
How to Transition to Civilian Life
Returning to civilian life can be a challenging time. The experiences that veterans have faced during their service may have brought on new concerns in life. Many veterans find that they miss the structure that is provided in the military lifestyle. There are several steps that veterans can take to maintain their mental health when transitioning into civilian life:
- Speak with family and friends about experiences – This will allow family and friends to provide a different level of support and get a sense of what you may be going through.
- Reach out to veterans’ groups – Knowing you are not alone through your civilian life transition can provide a sense of security and allow you to share your stories with those who had similar life experiences.
- Search the web for information – The web provides countless information sources for service members who are active duty, veterans, or reserve. Resources on the web can help you with everything from PTSD, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and how to get back onto your feet financially.
- Take care of your body – Each state provides veteran-friendly health services that can be obtained through your local Veterans Association. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition and exercise can lead to improved mental health by reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Remember, it is normal to feel frustrated- Adjusting to the civilian lifestyle is a big transition that may seem frustrating at times. These feelings are normal. However, if these feelings become overwhelming, reach out to a healthcare professional.
Veterans and Mental Health Therapy at Harmony Bay Wellness
If you are concerned about a possible mental health condition, reach out for help. At Harmony Bay Wellness, are licensed therapists can help you adjust to civilian life and guide you through any mental health concerns that you may be facing after combat. Harmony Bay Wellness in Clementon, NJ, is in-network with Tricare. Speak to a member of our team today by dialing 855.765.6399 to discuss any potential out-of-pocket costs and set up an initial appointment.