As we show our appreciation for our military veterans, it’s important to remember that just because their service ends, the effects of their service can last a lifetime.
We know veterans can face physical, mental and emotional challenges related to their service, no matter what role they served. In fact, three-quarters of veterans surveyed in 2021 reported post-traumatic stress disorder as the top mental health issue they face as a result of their service, with nearly as many also reporting anxiety and depression.
If you or your loved one is a veteran and you suspect PTSD, watch for these signs and symptoms:
Intrusive memories, such as flashbacks, dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event, or severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event.
Avoidance of places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event.
Negative changes in mood and thinking, including feelings of hopelessness, memory problems, emotional numbness, or negative thoughts about yourself or the world around you.
Physical and emotional changes, such as being easily startled, trouble sleeping, hypervigilance, angry outbursts, or overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame.
Knowing what to look for and keeping a record of when these symptoms arise can be crucial to obtaining a PTSD diagnosis and appropriate treatment, whether you’re a veteran seeking help or a loved one looking to support the veteran in your life. It’s also important to know that veterans can face different mental and physical health issues depending on when they served.
As veterans seek care for both mental and physical health concerns, having a tool to help organize all their health information can be critical to getting the best results. Like many civilian health care providers, the VA has its own system for patients and providers, and also like other health care providers, that system might not “talk” to civilian provider systems.
Kith + Kin makes it easy to not only track symptoms and make notes but also to upload and store test results, visit notes, treatment plans and more, no matter the provider, so you always have all of your information, in one place and organized in a way that works for you. You’re always in control of your information, which can provide a sense of comfort when caring for yourself or others can feel chaotic.