Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one, if not the most common problem that military veterans face after their years of service and heroism for the country and its people. It is a mental health problem that occurs after witnessing life-threatening events in their lives. Children and military veterans are the usual people hit by this general mental issue.
We need to find a way to have a dialogue about what is like to return from war, and what it is like to be a son, a parent, a sibling, a spouse of someone who has been to war. — Sam Osherson Ph.D.
Maybe we all have that one war veteran relative that we may be taking for granted. Perhaps we have that one friend whose father is a returning soldier from war. As part of our giving back to these wonderful people doing heroic acts, it’s better that we know all the things we can do to help them, no matter how small they can be.
Accompany Them To Exercises Or Light Workout Sessions
Doctors and psychiatrists will always recommend and suggest light exercises or physical mobilization to the veterans as effective forms of recovery from PTSD. Physical activities, even just the light forms thereof such as jogging, walking, and running, can help the nervous system get ‘unstuck.’ Joints and muscles which get to move freely increase one’s chances at a better stress response.
Exercise also increases respiratory sinus arrhythmia. This naturally occurring variation in heart rate is linked to higher levels of emotion-focused coping—an ability disrupted in those with PTSD. — Robert T Muller Ph.D.
Moreover, accompanying them to workout and get moving translates to helping them get reacquainted with nature. Breathing in fresh air also assists in realigning thoughts for a much better response to stress stimuli.
Help Them Connect And Socialize With Others
It is crucial to veterans that someone is willing to listen to their stories and show appreciation to what they have done for the benefit of the others. Listening without judging is very much appreciated and significant for the recovery of these veterans with PTSD. It is essential that they are not made to feel useless and isolated from the others.
War veterans and soldiers returning fresh from combat and life-threatening events are said to need at least one person to talk to about their experiences. Not only their relatives and loved ones but also all the people around them should know about this fact. One can volunteer to join in one of these PTSD support groups to show their appreciation, thankfulness, and willingness to give back to the veterans this time.
Only recently have clinical professionals in the mental health field been combining the healing powers of both therapy and nature. Martin Jordan noted in his book Nature and Therapy that nature is “positive and beneficial to human health in a number of ways: reducing stress, restoring attention, promoting well-being.” — Abbie Hausermann, MSW, LICSW
Remind Them To Mind And Take Care Of Their Body
Their mind might be afflicted with a serious problem of being traumatized, but the body should not follow. Deteriorating physical health will just worsen the mental condition of anyone having PTSD. No matter how simple stress may be, the body should not be taken for granted.
However, it is also important that we are not nudging them or pressuring them to do what the doctor is asking them to do. There should still be an adequate consideration from our part of how they feel about doing a particular thing. Remember, these soldiers have experienced all the types of violence and force. The least they would want from us is a peaceful understanding and consideration.
Ask For Professional Help
We can always encourage them to try professional counseling. The real challenge for the relatives of these PTSD veteran victims is to enter them into proper counseling if the latter is not willing to participate and to undergo appropriate treatment.
There is no need to worry about the adequacy of the caregivers and psychiatrists when it comes to proper handling and giving of treatments to the war veterans. Lots of professionals and experts in providing care for them have already created and established appropriate programs to be followed by social workers and other doctors in the field. Some are even available online (like BetterHelp counselors), so reaching them is as easy as pie.
Every help we can do, no matter how little it may be, is still significant especially to someone who has experienced threats in their lives. Let’s do our part of giving back to the country, especially to the people who helped and did their role of protecting the country at times of need.