Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that can affect any individuals, but veterans are especially impacted.
Andrew Fisher, a therapist and ex-marine with Fisher Counseling Services, helps veterans dealing with PTSD.
“Veterans are trained to be violent most of the time, which is why we don’t necessarily focus on how to feel about things, but more on how to react,” Fisher said.
PTSD can cause depression, anxiety, fear and strong emotions that make people feel alone and disconnected from reality. Fisher said many veterans struggle with the loss of structure and identity they experienced while part of the military.
Fisher said he thinks it’s important to work with veterans on how to recreate their identity to something different from how they were in the military.
Signs to look for in veterans who may be struggling with PTSD are distancing themselves, focusing on the past and an increase in night terrors.
“Families need to let veterans know that they’re there for the person, support them and not forcing them to talk,” Fisher said.
Due to the military culture, Fisher says veterans are commonly not people who ask for help and end up keeping issues bottled up.
“It makes it hard for people to come out and say, ‘Hey I’m struggling now and I should probably do something about this,’” Fisher said.
About 22 veterans take their lives each day after dealing with either PTSD or other mental health conditions. Fisher wants people to know there are a variety of resources for veterans to seek if they’re dealing with PTSD or other mental health conditions.
Individuals can talk with other veterans, counselors or contact the veteran’s crisis hotline at 800-273-8255 for help.