American war veterans continue to live a life rife with unique challenges, fighting wars to safeguard national interests. As a result, many of them often struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately 20 veterans commit suicide on a daily basis across the United States, reveals data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, a figure which highlights the extent of mental health crisis in the armed forces.
Although such a mental condition can affect common people as well, a 2014 study based on the assessment of mental health risk and resilience among U.S. Army personnel says that the rate of PTSD in veterans is 15 times higher than civilians. Such an alarming finding calls for a nationwide need to support veterans.
In the wake of increasing number of veteran suicides, Californian lawmakers – Democrat Dr. Joaquin Arambula and Republican Jim Patterson – have proposed a new bill to better monitor suicide rates and allocate more resources for war veterans battling PTSD. The Assembly Bill 242 would mandate the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to send veteran suicide data to the legislature and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA) on a yearly basis.
Retired Sergeant First Class Norbie Lara is one of the vociferous supporters of the new bill. He lost his right arm in a battlefield near Baqubah, Iraq in June 2004. A medically-induced coma and a traumatic brain injury plunged him into the depths of PTSD. After surviving two attempts to end his life, he now plans to help others in a similar situation. He has pledged to give his support to Arambula and Patterson, both members of the California State Assembly, with the bill.
“I hope this bill will soon become law, and helps others. Whatever is currently being done is certainly not enough,” says a thoughtful Lara. Although, California County coroners gather sufficient data on suicides, sadly, the information is not being used by the state to facilitate efficient suicide prevention outreach.
PTSD is an inconspicuous wound
An individual exposed to trauma is vulnerable to PTSD. However, soldiers, marines or those on dangerous missions with higher odds of being exposed to deadly and life-threatening situations are highly vulnerable to PTSD. Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD are feeling upset by things that remind you of past painful events, having repeated nightmares and experiencing vivid memories or flashbacks of the event.
Nowadays, several effective options are available for treating PTSD. While cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps the patient to change his or her perception of the trauma and its aftermath, in the case of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), the counsellor helps the patient to change how they react to traumatic memories.
Journey to recovery
PTSD must be nipped in the bud or else it can be immensely devastating. Do not let it grow to an extent where there is no scope for recovery. It’s sad that many people fail to recognize the symptoms of PTSD. If a person is suffering from PTSD, he/she should immediately seek professional help to lead a normal life.
The Sovereign Health Group provides treatments for all kinds of mental health disorders including PTSD as well as any underlying health condition. Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California offers a variety of customized mental health treatment programs suited to treat the person holistically. Patients can opt for individual and group psychotherapy, or alternative therapeutic activities to regain control of their lives.
Whether you are looking for mental illness treatment centers in California or at a place closer home, we have facilities in all major places in the country. Our residential mental health facilities in California are among the best in the nation. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 819-0427 or chat online to know about the causes of PTSD and the most effective recovery programs available to treat the disorder at the earliest.