November 9, 2016, by Patrick Ward – Giving service to your country is the ultimate duty one can commit in times when armed conflict is broadly pronounced. A brave officer has to be away from his or her children and family to prove his commitment to a promised service.
Veterans had withstood all the possible endeavors and undertakings one can imagine. However, we are not even close to getting familiar to how these veterans handle their life and their job in times of war and armed conflicts. This article will try to understand the possible psychological impacts the veterans face during and after deployment.
Deployment is the hardest step a military officer or veteran undertakes in giving service in the armed forces. The primary challenge thereof is the thought of being away from family which usually takes three months to year or so. Yearning for a constant communication slowly affects them emotionally and physically. Since each of them has a unique personality and family background, the case from one veteran another is always different.
The American Psychological Association conducted a study stating that both veterans and their families could develop mental health problems, endure challenges and suffer from stress because of the long period of separation. The study suggested in their preliminary report the that the need to mobilize military services is an essential recovery tool from psychological problems, thus, lessening the possible significant health and relationship problems due to repeated deployments.
The study identifies four stages: pre-deployment, deployment, reunion, and post-deployment that would likely impact both the veterans and their families.
Stressors are likely higher in pre-deployment stage, causing the early development of health issues. The study suggests giving both party times for them to cherish the available moment left while they are still together before the deployment happens. It is important for both parties to process the event together because spending quality time can most likely lessen the occurrence of mental health problems.
Deployment stage is when the departure of service member begins. Emotions are even higher at this stage, but there are only a few reports linked to behavioral health issues relating to this stage.
However, this is also the stage where veterans highly need proper attention to counter possible cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Difficult events may occur during deployment that may produce intense feelings of fear and horror from unpredictable attacks faced by veterans in the battlefield. The harsh environmental condition could also trigger PTSD to some veterans.
Reunion is the end of deployment stage and commonly coined as the “homecoming.” Excitement and apprehension are some emotions that are highly anticipated. It is inevitable that both sides will notice changes from both parties due to the fact of being away from each other for quite a time.
The last stage is called post-deployment. Reports have shown that symptom of PTSD increase between the Reunion to Post-Deployment stage. Anxiety is much higher for a service member who battled from traumatic experience during the previous deployment. The study was confirmed this trend congruent with the data from Vietnam veterans that have found to develop mental health problems where 15% was diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the survey, 30% developed PTSD at some point in the battlefield.
This stage could be the triumphant journey for veterans who went home whole to their family but not for those who have to carry mental health problems, injuries, and worst, amputation with them for the rest of their life. For unfortunate veterans, reunification will be the most stressful part. For veterans with mental health problems, reunification may only cause to trigger the symptoms of PTSD especially if treatment and therapies were not provided immediately.
Psychological impacts may differ from veteran to veteran depending on their gender, life disposition, family background and life philosophy. PTSD, in general, is commonly developed due to the harsh environmental condition in the battlefield while veterans are on service. There is no prevention for any kind of stress disorders especially to this kind of work. However, there are available help and organizations that may provide treatment to service members from these events.
Veterans can get the help they deserved through mobilization projects provided by government and health centers specially created for their needs. Volunteerism can also provide ease to the mind as well as joining in support groups. Support coming from the family is the most powerful tool in encouraging a lost veteran to pull his or her life back together.
Author Bio: Patrick Ward is a legal researcher specializing in finance, loans and debt analysis, and bankruptcy law. He has a decade of experience in analyzing the legalities involved in the dynamics between local and global financial institutions. He is also passionate in helping individuals overcome their financial challenges. Follow on Twitter @blgbankruptcy.