Wounds, unemployment, and homelessness are some factors that some veterans face when they return home. One of the reasons that some veterans have such a hard time adjusting to life after war is PTSD. Many veterans do not want to talk about it. Others do not feel like treatment for PTSD is effective.
Trauma can have ever-lasting effects on a person and their family. Approximately 13% of Iraq or Afghanistan veterans and 10% of Gulf War veterans who experienced combat have PTSD, and 11% of Vietnam veterans continue to report PTSD symptoms that impaired functioning 40 years after the war (JAMA, 2015).
Therapy can work, but services are not always available and when it is available, dropout rates are high. A lot of people with PTSD are not going to treatment. Doctors don’t even know what patient preferences are and services are not always available to those that need them.
Treatments can vary and do not always produce the best results. Outcomes for veterans can also be worsened by repeated and extended deployments. Someone may come home from one or two tours and be just fine. After three or four tours, re-entering civilian life may be more difficult, and more severe symptoms may develop.
A holistic approach that addresses a person’s lifestyle and history and includes family and friends while addressing physiological responses to trauma seems to be the best approach to helping veterans with PTSD cope with life here at home. Finding out what the patient preferences are might help solve the problem. Why are dropout rates so high? If we find out what is keeping people with PTSD from going to treatment and why they feel that treatments are not helping them, we may be able to fix that, and even apply what is learned to other traumatized populations, such as the foster care population where children are twice as likely to develop PTSD than a person that fought in a war.
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page. Thank you.
JAMA, (2015), Psychotherapy for Military-Related PTSD A Review of Randomized Clinical Trials Article· Literature Review, Journal of the American Medical Association 314(5):489-500 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.8370, Retrieved From, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280666600_Psychotherapy_for_Military-Related_PTSD_A_Review_of_Randomized_Clinical_Trials