PTSD In Veterans: 7 Tips To Cope : War is traumatic. The horror of war also disrupts the lives of thousands. During the past few years, more than 200,000 US military personnel have been on active duty abroad. Millions of soldiers also live on bases on American soil. These brave heroes have a nightmarish existence in open conflicts.
Most of these workers have to face unique challenges on active duty. They live with the constant threat of death and injury. Furthermore, a significant number of military personnel experience a dangerous event during their tenure. They may find themselves or their comrades in the line of fire. They also experience sexual violence, malnutrition, war injuries, and mental health issues. These factors make adjusting to civilian life challenging.
Troops have to reorient themselves within their family. They also have to get a civilian job. Since most soldiers enlist after graduation, they have to enter the civilian workforce for the first time in their lives. Most importantly, soldiers return home with mental challenges because of their experiences during conflicts. PTSD is one of the most prevalent mental health issues veterans face nowadays. Soldiers with PTSD are always on the edge of panic attacks and suicide. Others may feel numb and isolated from their loved ones. PTSD also increases the risk of substance abuse disorders. Veterans may also increase their alcohol intake to deal with the emotional fallout of war.
If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, then you should reach out for help. Fortunately, several organizations offer treatment for veterans, including therapy and rehabilitation services. You can also follow some tips to cope with PTSD after returning from a tour of duty.
Get some exercise
Regular exercise helps people burn off the adrenaline. It also releases endorphins that improve our mood. Veterans can also train their bodies to move out of the immobilization response to stress. However, the exercise should be rhythmic and functional. So, running, swimming and dancing are some excellent options for veterans. Soldiers should also focus on their feelings during the period of activity. By focusing on your breathing, you can reduce stress levels. Only thirty minutes every day can make a significant difference in your life.
Pursue outdoor activities
Research suggests that outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, biking, and skiing help manage PTSD. They challenge your vulnerabilities and help veterans become more comfortable. Look for local organizations with outdoor activities. Several clubs also offer team-building opportunities to soldiers. Do not worry about the expense. Some companies offer discounts to veterans to thank them for their service.
Regulate your nervous system
People with PTSD feel vulnerable and helpless. These feelings can make them anxious, angry, and agitated. So, veterans should use some techniques to soothe themselves. One tip is to practice mindful breathing. Another is to use sensory input to calm yourself. Think about your days on active duty and what helped you uplift your mood and think less about your traumatic experiences. Maybe you felt better when you ate comfort food or looked at family photos. Introduce these small rituals back into your routine.
Create a safe place
Survivors know that the world can turn upside down instantaneously. Therefore, they feel on edge all the time. A safe space can help you relax and meditate when you feel overwhelmed. Your sanctuary can be any place where you do not have to worry about the world. It can be your office or a corner in your yard.
Connect with people
Humans are social animals. Therefore, they need to interact with others for a healthy life. However, PTSD can make survivors feel disconnected from others. You might also feel like no one understands you. Find people who will listen to you. Veterans can join support groups to talk about themselves and share their trauma. For example, the Vet Centre Program provides counseling services to soldiers readjusting to civilian life.
Take care of your body
PTSD can take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. Therefore, you have to work hard on yourself. Take some time to relax and add relaxation techniques to your routine. Veterans engage in reckless behavior to get an adrenaline rush. However, these daredevil sports can get you in trouble. So, look for activities that can help you blow off some steam. Keep track of your diet and limit your intake of processed foods and other harmful substances.
Address survivor’s guilt
Veterans often experience survivor’s guilt. They may feel guilty because they saw others getting hurt or dying in action. As a soldier in active combat, you do not have the time to process the event. These experiences may come back make you question whether you deserve to live or not. However, you have to recover from survivor’s guilt in order to cope with your mental health issues. Think about your role and assess your responsibility.
PTSD can make veterans feel like they are stuck in time. They may feel alone, disoriented, and overwhelmed by small tasks. Still, you can follow some tips to improve your life. However, do not expect immediate results. Take every day as it comes to deal with the stress. You will learn valuable skills to manage PTSD. Remember that you are not alone. You can contact professionals to help you readjust to civilian life.
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