As we show our appreciation for our military veterans, it's important to remember that just because their service ends, the effects of their service can last a lifetime.
We know veterans can face physical, mental and emotional challenges related to their service, no matter what role they served. In fact, three-quarters of veterans surveyed in 2021 reported post-traumatic stress disorder as the top mental health issue they face as a result of their service, with nearly as many also reporting anxiety and depression.
If you or your loved one is a veteran and you suspect PTSD, watch for these signs and symptoms:
Intrusive memories, such as flashbacks, dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event, or severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event.
Avoidance of places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event.
Negative changes in mood and thinking, including feelings of hopelessness, memory problems, emotional numbness, or negative thoughts about yourself or the world around you.
Physical and emotional changes, such as being easily startled, trouble sleeping, hyper vigilance, angry outbursts, or overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame.
Knowing what to look for and keeping a record of when these symptoms arise can be crucial to obtaining a PTSD diagnosis and appropriate treatment, whether you're a veteran seeking help or a loved one looking to support the veteran in your life. It's also important to know that veterans can face different mental and physical health issues depending on when they served.
As veterans seek care for both mental and physical health concerns, having a tool to help organize all their health information can be critical to getting the best results.
Like many civilian health care providers, the VA has its own system for patients and providers, and also like other health care providers, that system might not "talk" to civilian provider systems.
A great tool for tracking symptoms, making notes, storing test results, treatment plans and storing all your health information in one place is the Kith + Kin app. This one-of-a-kind tool was made to serve as a secure storehouse for all your medical information, making it easier to store, share, and manage your healthcare. The data you put into Kith + Kin is encrypted and kept safe through an access control list (ACL) permissions structure. This allows only those that you specify to have access to anything you put into the app.
Download it for free today and experience a sense of comfort when caring for yourself or others is chaotic.