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Veterans Mental Health Awareness

FIGHTING THE INNER BATTLE Not all wounds are visible. Since October 2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have been deployed to support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Even after returning home, many of them will be faced with mental health issues that can affect every aspect of their lives. 30% PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Transitioning to civilian life is often made more challenging with substance abuse, anxiety and depression, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), posttraumatic stress, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. of soldiers develop a mental health issue is the most common within 4 months of mental health issue returning home. veterans face at home. PTSD DEVELOPS FROM TRAUMA & PISO BY THE NUMBERS THREATS TO PERSONAL SAFETY It's normal for traumatic events to cause 11-20% of veterans returning home from temporary shock. PTSD occurs when the nervous system remains in a state of stress even after the danger of war has passed.6 Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed.? 1O For those who saw combat, the PTSD CAN AFFECT EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE number can be as high as 49%6 Those with PTSD experience intrusive, recurring flashbacks of traumatic events, negative mood, a constant sense of danger, and often have emotionally reactive behavior.5 15 Veterans are 15 times more likely to TIMES develop PTSD than civilians. 12 of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans SUBSTANCE ABUSE 10% treated in the VA have a problem with drugs or alcohol. 8 SELF-MEDICATION of veterans reported misusing 11% Pain medication, alcohol and prescription drugs. This is much higher than civilian usage. 9 tobacco are often used to self- out of every veterans seeking substance abuse medicate following traumatic events. Developing a tolerance on these substances can spiral 20% of military personnel reported binge drinking at least once a week. This behavior often treatment also into an addiction. suffers from PTSD. 8 continues after active service. 9 TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY TBI can cause symptoms such as ANGER, DEPRESSION, DISABILITY, TBIS are caused by a sudden blow or jolt to the head. The (1BI) high rates of TBIS during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars PERSONALITY CHANGES & EVEN has made this a “signature wound" of these wars. SUICIDAL THOUGHTS that prevail long after the injury. SERVICE MEMBERS HAVE SUSTAINED 10-20% A TBI also increases risk for 339,000+ ALZHEIMER'S, DEMENTIA & PARKINSON'S in addition to other neurological disorders.10 of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have had a TBI.! TIBS since the year 2000.4 DEPRESSION & SUICIDE Depression can occur on its own, but is often related to TBI, substance abuse, PTSD and military sexual trauma. Veterans are 5 times more likely to have major depression than civilians. 12 30% TIMES out of every I of veterans have 22 veterans with TBI have considered suicide.12 commit suicide each day. That's 1 suicide every 65 minutes. 12 depression, compared to 1/10 of those without TBI.11 VETERANS IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH Recognizing the connections between PTSD, TBI and sexual trauma to depression, substance abuse, suicide, anxiety and other conditions is an important step to veterans getting the help they need. RECOGNIZE SYMPTOMS SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP Depression, PTSD and TBI all have their own set of symptoms. Many people don't seek treatment simply because they don't realize there's a reason for Always know that help is available. Stress relief, cognitive-behavioral therapy, talk therapy, addiction treatment and medication can all be the way they feel. effective treatments. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CONNECT WITH OTHER VETERANS Eating right and exercising can improve all aspects of your health. Sticking with mental health treatments that work for Volunteering with fellow veterans, keeping in touch with military friends, and seeking out others who have been through the same experiences as you can build a valuable support network. you is another way to stay in your best condition. VEHICLES VETERANS Supporting Disabled Veterans Sources 1. 8. our-troops 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Depression_ConsumerGuide_04-13-2011.pdf 7. 12. is-ptsd.asp erans.asp 9. in-military 10. 11. day/index.html

Veterans Mental Health Awareness

shared by vehiclesforveterans on Mar 09
Not all wounds are visible. For some veterans, the war isn’t really over when PTSD, depression, substance abuse or the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury become an everyday reality.


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