Sunday, August 1, 2010

PTSD and the veteran

The number of veterans dealing with these issues is staggering. A 2008 study found that one in five vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experience symptoms of PTSD or major depression. Sadly the study also found that many of these service members do not seek treatment for psychological illnesses because they fear it will harm their careers. Untreated, PTSD and depression can lead to cascading problems, such as drug use, marital problems, unemployment and even suicide.

Veterans don't have to "go it alone" — our colleagues in Veterans Affairs (VA) have marshaled resources to help service members and their families. The VA Web site has information and resources about coping with PTSD. There's also a hotline veterans can call for help with PTSD: 1-800-273-8255 (Spanish/EspaƱol: 1-888-628-9454).

The message is clear: We need to take care of ourselves and seek help when we need it. The resources are out there. This is true for veterans and for anyone else suffering with PTSD or depression.

Please let me hear from each of you what you find to be the most powerful tactics for coping during times of turmoil.

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