By Alyssa Mink
On average, about 30% of veterans develop PTSD at some point in their life due to the situations they experienced in combat. People suffering from PTSD may experience flashbacks when reminded of the event so in order to avoid this, they may stay away from items or places that remind them of the event. People suffering may also seem jumpy and always on guard. Veterans with PTSD account for a large amount of the yearly suicide rate but these men and women are more than just a statistic. We lose 22 veterans a day to PTSD related suicides. While serving, veterans are put in many challenging and high stress situations which may alter the processing of the brain after a certain amount of time. The brain may get rewired to think that the daily life they live in combat is normal so when the veterans return home to what most others would say is normal, it can make them suffer. According to HelpGuide, the first step to recovery is getting out and moving. Engaging in rhythmic exercise that involves your arms and legs can help release some energy and endorphins that may improve your mood. Step two is self-regulating your nervous system which means being mindful of your breathing, sensory input like calming smells and sounds, and reconnecting emotionally to past events without getting overwhelmed. The third and final step is reaching out to others for help. PTSD, as with any other illness or disorder, is better survived with a support system. It can seem unmanageable but when you talk to others about what you’re going through, a weight is lifted off of your shoulders.
If you find yourself in a crisis, please reach out for help.
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