What suggestions would you offer the military for managing their mental health issues?
Returning soldiers have a high rate of suicide-- sometimes due to the amount of deployments they experience or traumatic stress disorder or depression that challenges one's mental health. What can be done to help this situation?
Soldiers can be subjected to extreme forms of abuse and the worst stressful and traumatic situations, when they are at the front. In fact, what they have to often go through can not be called normal in any sense. Hence, they must learn to cope with ultra-high levels of stress and its side effects. The military should focus on two things to help in their situation.
One: Encourage their religious/spiritual belief -- it helps tremendously when logic does not make sense.
Two: Encourage comradeship among the soldiers -- group support has a tremendous healing power for mental wounds.
Besides, the community and people in general should be made more aware of the hardships soldiers and their families go through. This will provide a good supportive social atmosphere for them.
Thanks for the thoughtful question.
Well as to the depression part.
I have seen and heard so many stories of soldiers who have put themselves in a place for our country where they we're willing to give thier very lives. And then for whatever the reason be it discharge or a personal choice find themselves just as the rest of us. Unemployed or employed but struggling to make ends meet.
And this is to me the biggest shame of all. Anyone who was willing to give thier life for this country should have a secure job handed to them. Hell let them make the $500 hammers the government buys. But it should be a set up program for them for several reasons.
For one nothing can add to depression more than being jobless. Even worse for those who have been so active and full of adrenelin. To then go to feeling useless or not needed is like putting a nail in the coffin. Another thing is the simple activity, you know what they say about an idle mind. And while this in no way covers the whole issue I think it would be a solution for many of our brave young men and women!
As soon as they come home, they should apply for their Veterans benefits and join a chi gong class to start with. Then they should do every political thing possible to end any future wars, because war only makes more war. Most of them are unnecessary instruments, and the soldiers are the pawns.
How about getting involved in a great Peace Cooperative.
Sign the petition on creating "A Department of Peace"
And get involved in a 10-soldier self-help group hosted at an AA facility or right in their own extra "Den" or "Great Room"
Join a purging Yoga class.
The trauma is so severe, that they must cleanse, purge, forgive and heal.
They need more mental health services like support groups. And quite frankly, they need to quit sending soldiers with PTSD back in the field. I have known a few guys who were sent back with PTSD and it nearly killed them and ruined their lives. I have son with PTSD from the military and it has not been an easy road but he is doing well now. He was fortunate not to have been sent back. But that was in the 90's and it wasn't a full fledged war. Just a conflict in Panama. If you have a loved one who is suffering you have my prayers.
As a Veteran of both Iraq wars and Somalia, I can tell you the VA basically ignores the problem or if you have the privilege of still serving you are called weak. I have sleepless nights every night. I am what they call hyper vigilant. I have been given meds that do not work. They have classified me as a schizophrenic. So more meds. They want to over medicate you. Then expect you to go on with your life. I talk to the psychologist and it's just a bunch of uh hum's how does that make you feel? Sometimes I want to punch them in their face. They wanted me to join a group that was passing out little bottles of hope. Are you kidding me? I wanted to tell her I would give her a little bottle of shut the hell up. In the end there is no help until the Veterans hospitals directly get involved.
Self help groups, support groups for PTSD and other fear issues, a job and career program, support for spouses and particular programs for dealing with PTSD.
If a soldier supported a country by engagin in combat, then a country should support its returned soldier.
The military, none. They cannot concern themselves with that. What they should do is if the disorder is serious then the soldier should be discharged and sent to a psychologist or if need be a doctor. The only reason the military would do that though is if the person became or started to become violent.
End war.....that's the only cure. But of course that's not gonna happen...not in this system for sure.
The question was, "Returning soldiers have a high rate of suicide..." Ending war won't help those returning from it with mental illness, but it will prevent it from happening to more people (assuming the illness was caused directly by the war).
Immediately upon their return home, get every soldier into employment related to their skills and education (or get them the education they need to do what they want). Get the soldier and family members and key friends into group therapy for as long as they need/want it. Get them to a psychiatrist (real doctor specializing in mental health issues and can prescribe medications) on a regular (monthly?) basis to be evaluated. Get the soldier into cognitive behavioral therapy ASAP and for as long as they need it. And, get them into hobbies or sports or other new interests. And, fix any of their physical ailments ASAP so they feel and look "whole" again and can take pride in themselves and so they don't feel embarrassed around their friends and family, who just want their loved one back (the way s/he was).
Mental health issues in the field... I can't even begin to comprehend the horror, terror, and stress, so I won't attempt to comment on that at all.
P.S. And if the soldier has PTSD, make every attempt to pair that soldier with a service dog as soon as possible. A service dog is a constant companion and fan of its person, it keeps secrets forever, and its coat soaks up tears better than tissues.
Rule out any diseases that could possibly cause mental illness.
My father was in the navy. There are many things that hitch hike back home.
Mental illness from my own experience and observations is nothing more than a parasite, bacteria, fungus and virus overload.
The brain is a window of our stomach's, not the other way around.
Ive found the salt/c protocol the most beneficial for my symptoms rather than medication.
Your comments do not reflect current medical science and practice, though I am glad you found a solution for yourself. Real mental illnesses can be seen/measured by brain scans (EEG, MRI) and some by blood test. Details at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov
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