Even if a service member doesn’t serve in combat, the stressors of military life are many. Some of those who join the Armed Forces complete their duty and go back to normal lives. Unfortunately, many bring battles home with them. In some cases, this can even lead to veteran families needing help with mental health.
The struggles faced by vets and their families are significant, but they don’t have to go through them alone. Help dealing with addiction, depression, alcoholism, and other issues is available for former service members and those who love them. At Transformations Treatment Center, we take an individualized approach to offer the best chance at healing.
Contact us today to learn more.
Why Do Vets Struggle With Mental Health Issues?
Military personnel lives in a world where toughness and resilience are essential traits. While many of these heroes put on a strong front, countless leave the service with significant issues. These include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, substance abuse disorder, anxiety, and a variety of other psychological problems.
What is it that makes military service such a major predictor of mental health issues? In reality, there is no simple answer. Hundreds of individuals could engage in the same combat mission, but not all of them will develop trauma disorders or other conditions. Due to a specific set of factors, though, the risk of dealing with mental health problems is greatly increased.
- Loneliness: Service members often have to leave family behind to serve their country. In some cases, they’re away from society for long periods of time.
- Issues of guilt: Veterans often feel guilt over actions they had to take in combat or even because they survived an incident when others did not.
- Family strain: Serving in the armed forces puts strain on the family unit. Issues can increase with frequent or prolonged deployments.
- Reintegration issues: Reintegrating into civilian life isn’t always a simple endeavor. It’s often a struggle that can lead to mental health issues.
These problems alone could easily explain why many veterans deal with PTSD, alcoholism, substance abuse disorders, and other mental health conditions. Unfortunately, these are far from the only issues they encounter. High rates of occupational injuries, increasing sexual assaults, elevated suicide rates, and a host of other problems continue to persist.
These issues explain why nearly one-quarter of military members exhibit signs of at least one mental health disorder. The PTSD rate among vets is 15 times higher than in the general public, and the rate of depression among the group is also five times higher. Unfortunately, it’s not just the service member who faces struggles during and after active duty.
Mental Health Issues Among Family Members of Vets
There is an increasing number of veteran families receiving help with mental health. One study found that — among mental health services catering directly to the military and vets — nearly one-third of those reaching out for help are family members. However, this isn’t a new issue we’re facing. It’s just an issue that’s finally getting attention.
The simple fact is that veterans aren’t the only ones who struggle after they leave the service. Problems they develop can directly affect their children, significant others, and other family members. Additionally, it’s possible to develop mental health disorders even when a veteran loved one isn’t struggling with diagnosable conditions. Consider the following realities:
- Nearly one-third of military wives have engaged in binge drinking over the past month.
- 29% of military wives under 49 years old have a mental illness.
- Nearly one-in-five military children between 12 and 17 years old engaged in illicit drug use over the past year.
- In the last year, 16.7% of military children between 12 and 17 years old had at least one major depressive episode.
- Several studies have shown increased rates of substance abuse among military dependents when compared to the general public.
This is why it is important that veteran families have access to mental health services. When service members return home struggling, their loved ones struggle alongside them. These problems may manifest themselves in different ways, but they all have a direct linkage to military service.
If you’re a vet or family member of a veteran struggling with alcoholism, substance abuse disorder, or mental health issues, you don’t have to fight the battle alone. Call Transformations Treatment Center today at (800) 270-4315 to get started on the path to healing.
Help for Service Members and Veterans
If you served your country and are now struggling, there are resources available to you. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers many treatment options. Unfortunately, the availability of therapeutic offerings is often far less than you’ll find at private treatment centers. Thanks to the VA MISSION Act, though, there may be help available to pay for veteran mental healthcare in a private setting.
At Transformations Treatment Center, we offer a variety of therapeutic approaches that can help veterans overcome their struggles:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Equine-assisted therapy
- Anger management
- Emotion-focused therapy (EFT)
- Anxiety management
- Adventure therapy
- Medical detoxification
- Medication assisted therapy (MAT)
This list certainly looks extensive, but it is far from exhaustive. We offer a wide array of therapeutic approaches beyond these. This is essential to create a customized treatment plan that caters to an individual’s needs. Even if two veterans are dealing with similar problems, they will have different backgrounds, underlying conditions, co-occurring disorders, and many other variations.
As with any task in life, having a wide selection of tools improves the chances of a positive outcome. Take a moment to review all the Addiction and Mental Health Treatment options at Transformations.
Veteran Families Receiving Help With Mental Health
The type of difficulties faced by veteran families will dictate where they can find help. For instance, a veteran’s loved one who is dealing with substance abuse disorder can benefit from the same therapies discussed in the previous section. Their specific needs will dictate the treatment plan created for them.
This is also true for veteran families with mental health difficulties. Targeting their condition, the underlying causes and any co-occurring disorders is vital. Of course, not all family members of vets will develop alcoholism, addiction, or even mental health problems. They may just need support. For these individuals, there are several options available:
- Nar-Anon: Support group for friends and family of people struggling with drug addiction.
- Al-Anon: Support program for those who love someone living with alcohol use disorder.
- Alateen: Support group for adolescents who are affected by a family member’s alcoholism.
- Families Anonymous: Another peer-support group available for family members of those with alcoholism or addiction.
- Recovering Couples Anonymous: Support group for couples that have been affected by substance abuse disorder.
- Family Member Support Guide: Guide created by Transformations for family members of those dealing with alcoholism, addiction, and mental health disorders.
The one thing to take away from this guide is that there are resources available for veterans and their families. Whether you’re fighting addiction, mental health disorders or you love someone who is — help is available. All that’s required for help is to reach out. Even if everything seems overwhelming, you can overcome these struggles with the right resources.
You Don’t Have to Suffer; Reach Out for Help Today
A culture of bravado exists within the military, and this creates additional hurdles to those who need psychiatric care. Such hurdles to mental wellness can be difficult to overcome, but with the right help, they’re not insurmountable.
At Transformations Treatment Center, we pride ourselves on offering an array of therapeutic approaches to meet all needs. Whether you’re living with post-traumatic stress disorder after combat or have developed mental health issues living with a veteran, we’re here to help.
The first step toward physical and mental wellness is simply reaching out. Vets and veteran families receiving help with mental health has become the norm, so contact us today and know that you can take your life back.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces