I'm very upset this morning as I write this. Do you know how many soldiers don't get help with their problems, when they KNOW they have them, because the doctors don't listen to them? Or the doctors are just assholes... or they fear ridicule, or reprimand... or they are always sent away with motrin and not taken seriously? Motrin doesn't cure everything!!!
Now, I know there are lots of soldiers who do get help, but even one who doesn't get help b/c they feel it is useless to keep trying is one too many being neglected.
In 2004 the Army's first study of mental health of troops who fought in Iraq showed that 1 in 8 reported symptoms of PTSD. Did you know it also stated that less than half of those sought help for it because they feared it hurting their careers? So sad....
I know there had been more outreach and more being done to help our troops but I fear it just isn't enough. Did you know that in 2002, the year before the Iraq War began, there were 350 suicide attempts among our troops? Well, in 2007 that number jumped to 2,100.
I urge every family member to encourage their service member to seek help if they have signs of depression or PTSD. I urge every service member themselves to seek help if you know need it. While I will never understand the pride in serving, or the fear in seeking help because you don't want to ruin your career, I do understand and can sympathize with the family members of those who suffer from mental health problems. I have seen it with friends and see what they go through because they feel helpless when it comes to helping their servicemember who is suffering. It is rough on everyone involved.
Soldiers coming back from war are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, anger management, mood disorders... the list goes on... go to Military OneSource and use the resources to seek help, or at least find out where to start.
You can also seek out help through your local ACS (Army Community Service) and your post Chaplin. If you go to church, seek guidance from your Pastor.
While this started out as about our troops, I also know the spouses can develop mental health problems with all the stress and things that come about with deployments. You MUST take care of yourself, physically & mentally!! If you feel you need help as well, contact Military OneSource and have them set you up with counseling as a start. They will find someone in your area and it is confidential. I called them when we lived at Fort Hood and saw a wonderful therapist!! She helped me tremendously and it was a huge relief. Don't be afraid because you're not alone.
Here are two other previous blog posts of mine that may have helpful info for you too:
Family Support Systems
Risk Factors & Warning Signs for Families - Suicide Prevention
As always, thanks for reading... much love and many blessings =)