I consider my husband a rational man. I’ve heard him tell other soldiers who he thought might need help with PTSD or other deployment related mental health issues to seek treatment – that their careers would not be affected.
But when I suggested he might be suffering from some post-deployment anxiety or mood issues, he was quick to say no to outside help.
“No, not me,” he said first.
“That’s not for guys like me,” he said next.
“I don’t need that headache,” he said last.
Why is that we can offer sound advice to others that we cannot accept ourselves?
For soldiers, the admission of a possible mental health issue comes with its own set of demons. These toughest of the tough expect themselves to rise above the lingering effects of war.
But war is hell. And the aftermath you carry home can be even worse.
This month, mental health professionals are urging civilians and soldiers alike to seek treatment for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders during the National Depression Screening Day.
In recent years, the military has plugged into community groups and national organizations to help veterans and their families deal with the plethora of mental health issues that arise after deployment.
And the best part is, these services are often free of charge and records are not sent to the command.
The point is that the military wants its soldiers and veterans to receive the help they desperately need, without fear of their jobs being affected.
For immediate help with mental health issues, or any issue really, call Military One Source at 1-800-342-9647 or visit them online at www.militaryonesource.com
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
Take an anonymous assessment online to screen for PTSD, depression and related disorders at www.MilitaryMentalHealth.org
Chances are, many of you reading this have sent other friends and soldiers to the above resources. If you need help, please do the same. You’ll thank yourself later.