In return for their dedication and service, veterans are at risk for: chronic pain disorder, PTSD, and addiction. Because of their military service, veterans are particularly vulnerable to a traumatic brain injury. Even worse, veterans who suffer from one of these three risks often succumb to another one of the big three. Here are three warning signs veterans shouldn’t ignore:
- Night sweats
- Pain from battle injuries
- Uncharacteristically violent outbursts
These warning signs are not a parting gift for military service. They’re not a by-product of service that must be tolerated. Instead, they’re a flashing neon sign urging veterans to seek medical care.
What’s The Good News
Veterans don’t have to live with these conditions. With the right treatment, they can be improved. Being affected by chronic pain, PTSD, or an addiction doesn’t have to be a tragedy or a sad story. In fact, there’s terrific reason for optimism. Veterans treatment programs are the best in the US because they’ve had a lot of expertise with addictions. Additionally, their substance use and mental health treatment programs are integrated with other medical care. Because of this coordinated medical care, veterans can have:
- Improved general health
- Improved general function
- Reduced symptoms that are problematic
Where To Find Help
First, veterans who qualify for VA benefits should take advantage of all available treatments, and they should get a full assessment. The best approach treats the veteran as a whole: mind, body and soul. Good physical health depends on good mental health. Veterans who make too much money to qualify for benefits should seek providers who are sensitive to veterans needs.
One Final Order
You served honorably. You can continue to serve your families and communities by getting the help you need. Not only do you deserve the best medical attention, but also you need it to keep doing your best. On this veterans day, it’s appropriate to honor yourself by fighting for your physical and mental health. You have a right to the best care possible.
Recovery Guidance makes it easy to find veterans services near you. These providers understand how addiction can impact your entire physical health, click here to see VA providers in your area. If you’re not sure where to start, click here to take our our self-assessment guide.
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Pam is the author of Co-dependent In The Kitchen, and she's a contributing editor for Recovery Guidance. She's a recovery advocate who likes long walks on the beach and chocolate.