The Leaders of TMS Annapolis Break Down the Mental Health Struggles Faced by Veterans
Our veterans make a number of sacrifices for our nation, including leaving their families behind and putting themselves directly in the line of fire. The noble task of protecting our country’s freedom often does not go unacknowledged, but what does tend to fall by the wayside is providing veterans with the mental health support they need after serving. As the leaders in TMS Annapolis, Psych Associates of Maryland understand the unique struggles faced by military veterans, which is why we’re here to share a breakdown of mental health struggles in veterans and provide treatment options designs to help them feel like themselves again.
For decades we have been aware of the mental toll that combat and service can take on a serviceman or woman’s brain. Being exposed to the brutality of war, the leaders in TMS Annapolis say, is jarring to the human brain. Veterans see things that are considered unfathomably violent, leaving lasting effects on veterans long after the war is over.
There is a great amount of research that looks to explain the scale of the issue. Reports claim that one in five service members from Afghanistan or Iraq experiences symptoms of major depression — a number that is more than double the likelihood of someone who served in the Korean War of WWII. Thie number of veterans struggling after more recent wars continues to grow too, with the VA reporting a 327% increase in reported anxiety disorders among military members from 2002 to 2012.
While these numbers are staggering, we should not neglect that cultural shifts have allowed for many people to come forward with their struggles,m permitting easier diagnosis by professionals. However, this is not to say that the brutality of war and its effects are negligible. In addition to veterans struggling with mental health issues, they are at high risk for dying by suicide related to mental health struggles. Additionally, the children of military veterans are more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression.
It’s clear that depression and other mental health disorders are a large-scale issue among veterans. The Leaders in TMS Annapolis understand that the confrontation of trauma in any form — from the military, sexual assault, violence, and other big ‘T’ Traumas — is difficult because trauma leads to physical changes in the brain. Trauma leads to the misfiring of the amygdala (which controls your fight/flight/freeze response) and changes in the prefrontal cortex (which controls mood and personality), which is why PTSD, depression, and anxiety are so prevalent among veterans.
Depression looks different in men and women, young and old people, and people who have comorbid conditions. Depression in veterans, more specifically, tends to manifest as irritability, detachment, lack of interest in everyday life, and anger. Not only does depression often occur with PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder in veterans, but veterans are likely to turn to drug and alcohol abuse to cope with their issues.
A major issue that affects the way depression occurs in veterans is the stigma related to struggling after the war. Many people believe that struggling with mental health issues after service is a sign of weakness, neglecting the physiological changes in the brain that occur as a result. Depression in veterans isn’t ‘just in their heads’ and should be tackled using proven treatments.
Veterans suffering from depression are often afraid to look for help due to social pressures and because they often find it difficult to make time for treatment amidst familial, work, and social responsibilities following the war. However, it’s important to tackle depression head-on in order to start feeling like yourself. Some options for treating depression with Psych Associates of Maryland - the leaders in TMS Annapolis - include:
Let’s take the first steps in helping you feel like yourself again. Get in touch with the team at Psych Associates of Maryland today to learn more about our services.
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