Throughout American history, our Military service members have played a monumental part in ensuring the security of our country and its citizens. Unfortunately, the last two decades have highlighted the very real struggles these veterans grapple with upon returning home. While combat and deployment are hot breeding grounds for trauma and sequential mental illness, even general military service can leave that service member with their own unique struggles. Banyan’s Military and Veterans in recovery offers mental health residential treatment for those in need of effective care.
Common Veterans’ Mental Health Issues
The most typical issues that former military members are faced with are PTSD and depression. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is commonly seen in survivors of traumatic events, including assault, natural disasters, war, and terror attacks, but it can also develop from second-hand exposure to such occurrences. Features of this condition include flashbacks, intrusive memories, and nightmares concerning the traumatic event(s) in question.
An example of this occurrence is the debilitating panic that some veterans experience when surrounded by loud noises, like fireworks. The irony lies in the fact that, although celebrations like the 4th of July are enjoyed with the intention of honoring these brave individuals and their sacrifices, it does nothing to remove the trauma they went through.
Although it does not hold the same infamy as PTSD, depression remains a leading mental health condition that affects our military. For example, after deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan rose, military medical facilities saw a spike in depression rates from 11% to 15%.
Signs of major depression include a loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities, fatigue, insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, significant weight changes, and suicidal ideations. It is also important to acknowledge that a person's actual presentation of these symptoms can be ambiguous, making it harder to effectively diagnose if the proper attention is not afforded.
This population also struggles with other issues, including:
- Substance abuse
- Interpersonal violence
- Traumatic brain injuries
The resounding effects of these occurrences take a toll not only on the veteran in question but those close to them as well. Many of these individuals' families are forced to watch their loved one struggle with the remnants of their experiences. What is important to recognize is that help is available. Banyan’s active-duty military rehab program is equipped with excellent family support options that can serve as a beacon of hope for those struggling to help their loved ones as they pursue mental health residential treatment.
How Many Veterans Suffer From Mental Illness?
According to the National Library of Medicine, approximately 14% to 16% of US service members that were stationed in Afghanistan or Iraq have depression or PTSD.1 In 2014, JAMA psychiatry reported that 25% of almost 5,500 active-duty, non-deployed Army soldiers tested positive for at least one mental illness.2 What is also worth noting is the prevalence of some kind of psychological disorder in soldiers at the time of enlistment. High rates of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), along with other diagnosable behavioral difficulties, likely play a part in the numbers we see in this population.
Additionally, the rate of depression is five times higher among soldiers as compared to civilians. Cases of intermittent explosive disorder, a condition that leads to episodes of extreme anger, are six times as high. Finally, rates of PTSD are a whopping 15 times greater in this population than among regular citizens. These numbers highlight the very real threat that our veterans face not only on the battlefield but within themselves.
As homeless rates are addressed through programs like the strategies used by Housing First, efforts must continue to be made in the endeavors of providing resources for the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Help Is Available at Our Military Rehab Center
The association of veterans and mental illness is an unfortunate reality that our country struggles to address. When left untreated, these scenarios can escalate into greater issues like substance abuse. Our veterans’ addiction treatment centers are equipped with a variety of care levels that can address both addiction and mental illness and can get veterans on a track toward a more enjoyable day-to-day life.
Most Insurance Plans Accepted
At Banyan Treatment Centers, our goal is to make sure that anyone who needs treatment from drug and alcohol addiction are able to get the help needed to assist them on the road to recovery. If you don't have insurance contact us to inquire about alternate methods regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one.