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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Mental Illness Among Veterans

mental illness
With Veterans Day on the horizon, it is prudent to focus on mental illness. Mental health is discussed more openly throughout society today, thanks in part to science giving the general public a better understanding of the deleterious role stigma plays in seeking help. The reality is that despite available treatments, most people never access care. When mental disorders like addiction, depression, and post-traumatic stress go without treatment, the results are never positive.

Approximately 18.5 percent of service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have PTSD or depression. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, more than 2 of 10 Veterans with PTSD also meet the criteria for substance use disorder. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that approximately 50 percent of veterans who require mental health treatment, seek it. About half who receive treatment, receive the kind of help they need.

There is an urgent need to encourage our veterans to make the decision to talk about their symptoms, instead of opting for self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Veterans who use substances to combat their PTSD symptoms are at significant risk of developing a substance use disorder. What’s more, the use of mind-altering drugs worsens one’s symptoms of PTSD; a vicious cycle ensues, and many decide their life is too complicated and they experience suicidal ideations.


Talking About Mental Illness

Making the courageous decision to seek assistance will save your life. Effective, evidence-based therapies are available; those who struggle with more than one disorder benefit from co-occurring disorder treatment. However, the fact that people often feel unable to discuss their problems keeps them from recovery.

If you are a veteran who is battling PTSD and co-occurring mental illness please know, you are not alone. Mental health problems affect millions of Americans, veterans, and civilians alike. Those who seek care have an opportunity to address their conditions, learn tools for coping with symptoms and go on to lead healthy, productive lives. Talking about your problems is the first step toward recovery; mental illness runs riot in silence.

At The Haven, we understand the negative impact stigma has on a person’s ability to open up and seek a solution. Reminding yourself others are in the same boat can be empowering; in fact, over 44 million American adults are experiencing a mental health illness. Mental Health America reports that 7.93 percent of adults have a substance use disorder. As you can see, no small number of people in this country battle the same kind of issues that you do; thankfully, access to insurance and treatment is increasing owing to reforms.

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

The Haven at Pismo provides a continuum of care for clients with co-occurring disorders. From medically supervised detox to aftercare planning & treatment coordination, we are there for you every step of the way ensuring that you have the tools to achieve lasting recovery. Please contact us to learn how you can begin the recovery process today.

We want to express our gratitude to the men and women who’ve served bravely in the armed forces, and those who continue to do so. Thank you for your service!