Trauma in Veterans

By: Dr Carla Kesrouani June 20, 2023 no comments

Trauma in Veterans

Veterans face higher risks of developing trauma-related conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to experiences during military service. However, with proper understanding and treatment, they can recover from trauma and build resilience. Let’s examine the role of therapy in addressing trauma in this group of people.

Sources of Trauma

Firstly, veterans endure various forms of trauma that differ from civilian trauma. They may witness gruesome injuries and death, face life-threatening situations or lose fellow service members.

Moreover, transitions from deployment to civilian life also pose challenges that contribute to traumatic stress. Consequently, rates of PTSD, depression and substance abuse are significantly higher among these people.

Symptoms of Trauma

Furthermore, symptoms of trauma in veterans can include re-experiencing traumatic events through flashbacks, nightmares or disturbing thoughts. Veterans may also avoid trauma reminders and feel detached from others.

Additionally, common symptoms are emotional numbness, hypervigilance, difficulty concentrating, anger issues, and substance misuse. Physical complaints like chronic pain and gastrointestinal issues are also linked to trauma.

The Role of Therapy

Therapy can effectively treat trauma and its symptoms in veterans by targeting underlying thought patterns, behaviors and beliefs.

For example, cognitive processing therapy helps veterans recognize how trauma shapes negative thoughts and self-blame.

Likewise,prolonged exposure therapy exposes veterans to trauma memories in a controlled setting to reduce anxiety over time.

Additionally, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing uses eye movements to detach veterans from upsetting feelings tied to traumatic memories.

In summary, when paired with medication as needed,talk therapies tailored for veterans’ experiences can significantly reduce trauma symptoms and improve quality of life. Therapists trained in military culture and common veteran struggles achieve the best outcomes.

Transitioning from military life to civilian life also poses challenges that contribute to traumatic stress. support systems and community involvement through veteran organizations also aid in trauma recovery. With proper treatment and resources, even severe cases of trauma can show significant improvement over time.



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