the bravado of war fades, once the veteran leaves the esprit de corps of being part of a combat unit, and once the public's
attention is elsewhere, those who served will inevitably rethink their experiences. It is then that they and their families
will begin to experience the long-term consequences of the psychological damage caused by war.
is no pill that will cure PTSD. There are no magic words that will remove the suffering. There is nothing that can be
done to make us as we were before our combat experiences. However, there are
new pharmaceuticals that lessen the symptoms of PTSD. Individual and peer group
counseling can help combat veterans vent their anger and alleviate their emotional suffering. Dealing honestly with your PTSD
will help you objectively look at your wartime experiences as just a part of your life — not your entire life.
Years ago, there was little help for those
who suffered from PTSD. That is not the case today. Local mental health care professionals and others are increasingly
familiar with the illness. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) has
become the unquestioned leader in identifying and treating combat-related PTSD. The
VA offers far more specialists and far more programs than it did 30 years ago.
treatment, PTSD can destroy the quality of your life and the lives of those you love.
At first, treatment will probably be difficult. At some point you will have to confront the “demons”
that haunt your subconscious. You may benefit from attending individual or group
sessions with other veterans. You may benefit from taking medication to help you sleep and to overcome some of PTSD’s
more serious symptoms.
you suffer from PTSD, understanding that you do and that you are not alone in the way you feel is the first step to successful
treatment. The VA’s informal Vet Centers provide a good place to begin individual and group therapy. In some cases, inpatient treatment through a specialized PTSD treatment program may be necessary.
treatment can lessen the impact of your symptoms on you and those around you. There simply is no good reason for a combat
veteran who suffers from PTSD to allow it to go untreated.