By Karen Boerger:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is Real! There is help and hope for military veterans with PTSD.
I recently heard a presentation by a Major in the Army Reserves (retired), who told her story about her military career. After her tours of duty in the Middle East, she realized that she didn’t feel that she fit in with family and friends any more, thought about committing suicide, but went back for one more tour of duty. She was injured and had to go stateside for recovery.
While recuperating in the hospitals, she began to see that there was a purpose in her life. After much counseling from a pastor, she went for training and is now helping military veterans and their families. Sometimes when we are at our lowest, we find God right beside us.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a very real problem in the military. The following are some recent statistics:
- There are 18 suicides a day.
- To seek help for depression or PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) while serving in the military, there is a 400-day wait to get in.
- When a military person receives a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), it’s found that they are 20% more likely to die from suicide.
- One soldier dies every 24 hrs. – not from combat.
There is help for PTSD. Medication and counseling are very effective. If you have had a traumatic event, don’t despair. Seek guidance from a counselor, psychiatrist, or doctor and stay in touch with your pastor. Healing takes time but can be achieved.
The National Veterans’ Suicide Prevention Hotline is a valuable tool for veterans. Watch this video to see how important this hotline is to the veterans. For help call 1-800-273-TALK, then press “1” to be routed to the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline. This free service handles about 330 calls per day and has a staff of about 20. Call and talk to someone who understands veterans with PTSD.