Addressing the mental health of veterans and active-duty military personnel has never been more important. The stresses of military service frequently put unique pressures on members of the military especially for those who may have been exposed to combat. These pressures and experiences may lead to struggles with mental health issues, including PTSD. Consequently, active-duty members may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the stress of returning to civilian life. When an addiction develops, mental health and addiction treatment may become necessary.
With millions of active and retired members of the military making their homes in California and thousands of them struggling with mental health issues and addiction, the mental health of members of the military must be monitored closely. It is equally important that they receive care centered around their needs.
Fortunately, New Bridge Foundation® is here to serve the military community and has the experienced staff necessary to treat their unique struggles with mental health and addiction. Call 866.772.8491 today to learn more about Operation Success, New Bridge Foundation®’s specialized military treatment program.
Why Is It Important to Monitor the Mental Health of Veterans and Active-Duty Military Personnel?
Members of the military – especially those who have served overseas or have experienced combat, face elevated mental illness and addiction risks. Military service can involve traumatic experiences and, if gone untreated, mental illness can take a disastrous toll on the health and well-being of military families. Often, experiences with PTSD, depression, and addiction go hand in hand, and veterans and active-duty military personnel often report difficulty accessing care. It is important to understand the warning signs and risk factors so you can be on the lookout for dangerous patterns and can work quickly to address mental health issues properly.
Military Personnel and PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that arises from traumatic experiences. Unsurprisingly, veterans and active-duty members of the military experience PTSD at higher rates than the general population. Combat exposure, natural disasters, intense conditions, and military sexual assault are all documented traumas that can leave people battling the symptoms of this condition in their daily life.
Some of these symptoms include:
- Flashbacks to traumatic events
- Avoiding places, people, or things that remind you of the traumatic event
- Constantly being on edge with persistent anxiety
- Frequent irritability or violent outbursts
- Memory loss, especially in regards to details of the traumatic event
Military Personnel and Depression
Often, depression goes hand-in-hand with PTSD for veterans and active-duty members of the military. It can be a symptom of PTSD, a co-occurring disorder with addiction, and a risk factor for developing PTSD. Many individuals report numbness, persistent sadness, suicidal ideation, and difficulty dealing with daily tasks. All of these symptoms are compounded by the presence of PTSD. Importantly, since both can present similar symptoms, this can also complicate diagnosis and treatment. As a result, those struggling with depression must receive qualified care from providers who understand the intersection of PTSD, depression, and addiction.
Military Personnel and Addiction
Similarly, PTSD also puts veterans and active-duty military personnel at a higher risk for addiction. These individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with, avoid, or numb the painful symptoms of mental illness. PTSD and addiction often intersect with depression as well. Unfortunately, substance abuse only worsens the long-term effects of mental illness. If you or a loved one are at increased risk for addiction due to PTSD or depression, be on the lookout for warning signs, including:
- The increased urge to drink or to use drugs
- The inability to stop drinking or using drugs
- Significant amounts of time spent drinking or using drugs
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when substance use stops
- Increased tolerance to the effects of substance use over time
At New Bridge Foundation®, we understand the intersecting dynamics of mental health that veterans and active-duty members of the military face. As a result, we have created the Operation Success program. The program is centered around care for men and women who have served in the military, those still on active duty, and their dependents. Members of our staff have served themselves, and all receive ongoing training to address the unique challenges experienced in the military. Services in the program include:
- Coping skills for PTSD
- Coordination with VA and military treatment providers
- Stress management
- Medication management
- Physical training
Learn More About Your Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Options at New Bridge Foundation®
Veterans and other members of the military face unique mental health challenges and, as a result, require unique care from a staff that understands these specialized dynamics. That is why Operation Success is so important to us at New Bridge Foundation®. Our team of dedicated clinical experts is here to serve those who have sacrificed for our country by giving them the individualized mental health and addiction care they need. If you feel that you or a loved one could benefit from Operation Success, call 866.772.8491 or complete our online form to learn more.