For many friends and families of service members, finding help for veterans with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can feel impossible. Living with PTSD can lead to substance abuse, damage relationships, and generally lower the quality of life for military personnel. Whether you’re a family member, a friend, or a veteran yourself, everyone can benefit by learning more about PTSD treatment for veterans. Let’s get started.
How Does Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Affect Veterans?
Before you can find help for veterans with PTSD, you first have to understand it. PTSD affects millions of veterans each year, and veterans who served on active duty are especially at-risk. After returning home, many combat veterans report difficulties reconciling their civilian life with the traumatic events that they experienced during their service.
This disconnect often damages the lives of both veterans and their families. As military personnel experience PTSD symptoms, many families struggle to relate to their experiences. According to the National Center for PTSD, common symptoms include:
- Recurring thoughts about the traumatic event(s)
- Perpetually feeling “on edge”
- Taking major steps to avoid things that remind them of the initial trauma
- Negative thoughts and moods that do not go away
Understandably, these large personality changes in military personnel are often concerning to their loved ones. This leads us to the process of getting help for veterans with PTSD, and what you need to look for.
Find Comprehensive Help for Veterans with PTSD
Many people feel surprised upon learning that PTSD treatment needs to do more than solely treat PTSD symptoms. But it makes sense; after all, PTSD affects every aspect of a veteran’s life. That’s why it’s important to find help for veterans with PTSD that is comprehensive and thorough.
For example, each level of care at Heroes’ Mile treats a myriad of PTSD-related issues, including:
- Substance abuse
- Behavioral health issues
- Military sexual trauma (MST)
- Damaged familial relationships
Helping service members with this condition requires an all-around treatment program that addresses all of the problems that PTSD creates. For this reason, it’s important to remember that PTSD treatment is about more than mental health care; it’s about improving the overall quality of life.
Look for Evidence-Based Treatment Options
PTSD is a serious mental health condition, so it’s important that service members have a variety of reputable, effective treatments to choose from. This may include mental health services, trauma-informed addiction rehabilitation, and other treatment modalities. Some that have proven particularly effective for veterans with PTSD include:
- Equine therapy: Also known as horse therapy, this treatment option shows service members how to care for and bond with horses as part of their rehabilitation. This offers a host of mental health benefits, including emotional stabilization, learning new coping skills, and developing the ability to connect with others.
- Art therapy: For friends and families looking to help veterans with PTSD, one of the first things they notice is that their loved one struggles to express themselves. They’re clearly in pain, but it’s hard for them to explain exactly what they’re experiencing. Art therapy gives service members a new way to communicate and get out the feelings that they cannot verbalize. In this way, art therapy provides help for veterans with PTSD by giving them new tools to express themselves and feel understood.
- Psychoeducational groups: The first step in finding help for service members with PTSD is providing them with information about this mental health condition. These groups meet regularly to inform military personnel about PTSD symptoms, causes, and coping skills.
Help for Veterans with PTSD Is Never Far
No matter where you are, there is always a way to help veterans with PTSD. If you or a loved one is a veteran suffering from PTSD, the veteran staff at Heroes’ Mile would be honored to help them find help.
Would you like to learn more about our substance abuse and PTSD treatment options for yourself or a loved one? You can contact our admissions specialists at 1-888-VET-NOW2, or you can fill out our confidential contact form. However you’re ready to reach out for help, we’ve got your six!