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For American soldiers, there are more post-deployment suicides and homicides than combat-related deaths.

Symptoms:

For Combat Stress Reactions and Concussion Injuries:

Mental:
• Anxiety or panic attacks
• Flashbacks to traumatic events
• Nightmares
• Slowed thinking
• Unable to focus
• Jumpy / Easily startled

Emotional:
• Irritability
• Numbness / Unable to feel
• Grief
• Feeling isolated
• Rage
• Shame
• Compassion Fatigue (for the families, loved ones)

Physical:
• Chronic body aches and pains
• Insomnia
• Loss of appetite
• Impotence
• Fatigue

For Concussion Injury (TBI) ONLY :

Physical:
• Headache
• Dizziness
• Balance Problems
• Nausea / Vomiting
• Light Sensitivity
• Ringing in Ears

Mental:
• Unable to find the right words
• Loss of memory

Combat Stress is a natural and normal reactions to combat. How we respond to our symptoms determines how quickly and effectively we can recover.

Statistics

These shocking statistics point to an epidemic, and demonstrate that combat trauma is a national crisis.

  • 1 in every 5 US soldiers deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq has Combat Stress (PTSD).
  • In 2009, the number of diagnosed cases in the military rose 50%.
  • 71% of female military personnel develop Combat Stress due to sexual assault within the ranks.
  • 17% of combat troops are women.

´╗┐Taken from www.HH4Heroes.org

 

The Following is from the Veterans Resource Guide - put together by John T. Powers

COMBAT STRESS INJURIES REFERENCE GUIDE

“The first signs of stress for many combat veterans appear 3 to 4 months after returning home” Army Times January 7th, 2005

Symptoms of Combat Stress:
• Depression •    Anger issues •    Alienation and Isolation •    Sleep disturbances • Flashbacks •    Poor concentration or lack of concentration •    Negative self image •    Memory impairment •    Loss of interest in things they once loved •    Problems with intimate relationships •    Alcohol and drug problems •    Survivor guilt •    Trust issues •    Suicidal thoughts

 Contributors of more severe Combat Stress symptoms:
•    Longer period of time in combat •    Negative situations upon returning home •    No support system •    Medics, frontline combat veterans
Consequences: Leads to acting out anger more often, use avoidance and isolation to cope


Ways to Manage Stress Injuries:
•    Talk things out, you can only repress memories for so long until they become unbearable, emotional wounds are like physical wounds, they need to heal, they need to breath before they get better. Find a medical professional to talk to or at least a person you trust and can confide in.
•    Write things out, keep a journal, write poems, and listen to soft music. Keep a log of how you are feeling.
•    Engage in physical activity, work out, play sports, keep active and don’t sleep all day or isolate yourself.
•    Avoid alcohol and drugs, it’s only a quick fix, talk to a professional if need be. You have to stop drinking or doing drugs before you can heal. It’s a self medication and a bad way of coping with things.
•    Large, busy, places like malls, shopping centers may trigger some sort of anxiety. Planning and preparing can be the key to success, If you go to the mall don’t stay long if you feel uncomfortable, go to the restroom take a break so you can clear your head and relax.
Veterans Resource Guide    www.studentveterans.org    15
Problems following Homecoming:
•    The person who you left home who once relied upon you has become capable of managing the household by themselves.
•    Decision making on children, household duties, finances and social activities have all been provided by the care taker at home since your deployment
•    Veterans may need much of their partner’s time which has been allocated to other things while you were gone.
•    Problems may present themselves and it will take time to get back on track •    Failed expectations upon homecoming for either veteran or person waiting for them can
cause resentment. •    Talk about the expectations with your partner.


Important Self Help Tips when Returning Home:
•    Limit alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and illegal substances •    Limit news watching or traumatic information •    Talk to peers or professionals •    Get plenty of sleep and rest
•    Good Diet •    Write, Read •    Keep on a schedule •    Listen to relaxing music •    Plan family activities •    Engage    in    V olunteer    work •    Most importantly recognize signs of stress and triggers that set you off