PTSD, Veterans of War and More (updated)

PTSD, Veterans of War, and a New Social Network” was originally posted on May 5, 2012

 
ribbon.pngAs U.S. Veterans continue to return from foreign wars, they… we… as a society, still face challenges. Veterans face the daunting challenge of being re-acclimated to domestic life, finding work and managing accumulated health problems. Many veterans will have learn to manage post-trauma health effects, especially if diagnosed with “PTSD” or “post traumatic stress disorder”.
The probable healthcare cost of PTSD in dollars is staggering:.

About 300,000 U.S. military personnel who have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression, a mental toll that will cost the nation as much as $6.2 billion over two years”

source By Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, April 18, 2008

The cost in human terms is enormous:

… analysis of claim records from the Department of Veterans Affairs found that vets’ psychological wounds are by far the most expensive type of disability. Compensating wartime veterans since Vietnam for PTSD and other mental conditions is four to five times costlier than the average for all disability categories, the Tribune found. Victims of PTSD also are more likely to suffer other serious and costly health problems than other disabled veterans. In short, they are sicker.[…]

source  By Tim Jones and Jason Grotto, Tribune reporters

  • Veterans are six times more likely to attempt suicide the general population and over three times more likely to use substance abuse. (source)

Already homeless plight amongst U.S veterans of foreign war.

According to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans it is estimated that there are 500,000 homeless veterans in the U.S. on any given night, or one-third of the entire homeless population.”

source: “Stand Up/ Stand down for homeless veterans

What is post traumatic stress disorder?
from Department of Veterans Affairs/ National Center for PTSD:

After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping.[…]. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like combat, assault, or disaster. Most people have some stress reactions after a trauma. If the reactions don’t go away over time or disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

The web set may be a resource: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/
Some symptoms that may reveal a PTSD diagnosis:
(note: the purpose of any diagnosis is for treatment, management and recovery. Its not a label. One does not need ALL the listed symptoms to be diagnosed and symptoms come and go).

  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.
  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.

The list above are common PTSD symptoms listed at NIMH website:

Support and a New Social Network

As a consumer of mental health management or mental wellness I can tell you, you cannot overvalue support groups. They are a great way to maintain or build a support system, make friendships, learn from experienced health managers, and talk.  Fortunately, there is a new internet social network for returning veterans. The aim is support for returning veterans in finding & maintaining work; and connect with other vets; and sharing their new experiences.
VeteransCentral.com (see update below)
The website was started by Dr. Paul MacDonald and Jonathon Lunardi, to fill an internet void.– veterans social network run by veterans. The site includes help in such topics as to How to conduct a job interviews  and resume creating, groups and chat about health.
Its a great necessity as a culture that we provide for veterans of war.  Creating resources like these on the web are a step for that.
 

Update:

Veterans Central has a new updated website at
Veteranscentral.org
 

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About chris
I write because I'm not good at it. I share because, writing without sharing seems empty. Thus, I write and share what I think is meaningful.

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