Shell shock. Battle fatigue. Stress syndrome. Combat stress reaction. Traumatic war neurosis. Some of these historic terms date back over 100 years.
Yes, the military community has long been aware of the toll of the battle over the decades. Today, we recognize that mental health is a serious and growing issue among our nation’s veterans and troops.
Many troops and veterans suffer in silence, treating themselves the best they can with the resources at hand. Others seek care and treatment from the overloaded VA system. In recent years, the Veterans Administration has seen widespread issues with corruption and multiple top-down leadership shake-ups.
But it still seems like the system is overworked, leaving veterans in need without competent, professional help. Just in April, there were four veteran suicides at or actually inside of VA facilities.
This has led to grassroots movements to bring military-related mental health struggles into the light.
Find Help for Military-Related PTSD When the VA Isn’t Cutting It
If you or a loved one is struggling with military-related mental health, please don’t hesitate to contact someone for help.
Treatments for PTSD
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): a specific type of therapy that helps individuals work through sources of trauma, as well as beliefs and memories of the trauma, create stress and influence how they interact with the world. There are several types of CBT that address different traumas and ways of reframing thinking.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): another type of counseling that combines talk therapy with specific eye movements.
- Group Therapy: veterans gather together in organized groups to discuss and process trauma, sharing stories and solutions together. Groups are sometimes organized by a therapist, non-profit group or are organically created.
- Family & Couples Therapy: mental health impacts an entire family. Bringing a spouse or children into therapy together can help everyone process and heal together.
- Medications: sometimes, in combination with other treatments, SSRI class drugs are used to assist in treatment. Your medical team can provide assistance in selecting and continuing medications.
- Yoga: provides physical exertion combined with mindfulness and meditation in a guided, structured environment.
- Acupuncture: a longtime part of traditional Chinese and eastern medical practices, it has seen promising early results in treating PTSD but requires larger studies to scientifically prove efficacy.
- Herbal & Dietary Supplements: a variety of supplements can be used, under the supervision of your medical team, to help with PTSD symptoms and treatment outcomes.
It’s important to never begin additional medical treatment or over the counter supplements without first consulting with your primary care doctor due to possible adverse reactions and interactions.
Places to Seek Help for PTSD
There are many places where veterans, troops and their families can seek support and healing. These have been recommended by real-life military families!
- Boulder Crest Retreat for Military & Veteran Wellness: a rural healing retreat experience for veterans and their families, offering healing and support in two peaceful locations in VA and AZ.
- The Weekly Fight: a Malvern, PA-based fitness community that offers CrossFit-style workouts as well as additional seminars and growth opportunities.
- The Walking Point: a virtual information sharing space and community dedicated to seeking/using alternative PTSD and TBI treatments for military veterans and troops.
- Freedom Hunters: a non-profit offering outdoor retreats for returning troops, veterans and military families – including Gold Star families. These hunting and fishing retreats provide time away to reconnect with themselves and with family.
- Post-Traumatic Winning from All Marine Radio: a digital collection of podcasts, videos and other linked resources featuring stories from real military families.
- Project Healing Waters: a NC-based fly fishing experience for military veterans and active duty troops that promotes wellness and healing.
- Mission 22: a non-profit that provides visibility and opportunities for the larger community to support veterans, as well as programs and resources for veterans seeking treatment due to various military-related conditions.
- Hope for the Warriors: provides support and training to help troops and families cope with the longterm impact of military combat service.
- Save a Warrior: a military and first responder-led initiative that provides coping solutions and resources through peer mentorship at week-long retreats.
- National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy (NCEFT): an equine (horse) therapy center with various veteran and military-specific programs to cope with a range of injuries and impact of service.
- MilitaryOneSource: a clearinghouse for all things military, with options for free confidential immediate counseling services as well as longer-term in-person options.
- DStress: an MCCS-funded free, confidential helpline for Marines, veterans and their families as a result of military service.
- Military Family Life Counselors (MFLC): free, confidential in-person counseling with a licensed therapist, counselor or social worker trained in military-specific concerns.
These are just a snapshot, just a few of the many incredible resources, programs and organizations out there supporting military veterans on their healing journey. Each program listed has specific requirements regarding eligibility, program applications and location specifics.
MilitaryShoppers has no affiliation or connection with the listed resources; we have received zero compensation, monetary or otherwise, to share these organizations and resources.
The most important thing is to seek help as soon as possible. Mental health struggles tend to get worse when left untreated, or when cared for with drugs and alcohol.