Veteran mental health is both a complex and difficult topic, nowadays. While mental illnesses are a contentious topic among the population, at-large, it can be even more so regarding veterans. This has a tremendous impact on how veterans cope with serious conditions, like Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD), and whether they receive disability benefits through the Veteran Affairs office.
As you might expect, there are plenty of myths and misunderstandings surrounding this topic, including some that veterans themselves mistakenly believe. We’d like to identify some of those, so that you can help our vets overcome these debilitating roadblocks and misperceptions.
Veterans’ Mental Health Myths – How to Debunk Them
- Myth 1 – “I cannot heal from this. I’m totally broken.”
- How to Respond – Although mental health disabilities are serious, and may persist for a long time, you shouldn’t treat it like a prison sentence. The truth is that there are resources that can help you cope with troubles, and restore your quality of life. There are plenty of rehab services and individuals who want to help. Perhaps the greatest hurdle involves the willingness to ask for them.
- Myth 2 – “Nobody will understand what I’m going through with my condition.”
- How to Respond – While everyone’s circumstances are unique, you’re never alone. For one, there are hundreds of thousands of other veterans with similar struggles, who could use your companionship. Plus, as we can attest, there are many folks around Florida who love veterans and are eager to lend a supportive ear.
- Myth 3 – “Since my condition isn’t the worst. I should just “deal with it” and keep things to myself.”
- How to Respond – There’s no minimal threshold for these types of problems. If you’ve experienced any type of trauma, then you should ask for help. Anyone who finds themselves in dire straits, mentally, physically, or otherwise, deserves a chance to remedy their symptoms as much as possible.
- Myth 4 – “Veterans are the only ones who live with PTSD.”
- How to Respond – No, this is an increasingly common condition for civilians as well. It can result from traumatic car accidents, sexual assault, or any other time the human brain suffers trauma. The existence of any PTSD is unfortunate, but one silver lining is that veterans never need to feel alone as they cope with the condition.
Those are four of the most confounding myths we hear from veterans, and it would be nice to debunk and eliminate some of the confusion. Since there may be about one million veterans who struggle with PTSD, depression, and other mental illnesses, it beckons our attention.
As always, you can stay on top of veterans’ issues, and various ways to help, by following and supporting SRQ Vets. We’re based in Sarasota, Florida, and serve the area’s service vets with financial/material help, companionship, educational assistance, and more. Contact us anytime to learn how you can join our efforts by calling 941-777-8387.