As a veteran, you’ve already sacrificed enough by serving your country. But, unfortunately, many veterans come home and re-enter civilian life with health issues, and some of these can be severely debilitating.
In addition, many veterans return to the states with health problems that don’t manifest for several years, and other conditions might be so subtle that they’re extremely difficult to notice or diagnose.
Veterans keep our country safe, and those men and women give up several years of personal freedom to see to it that all American interests are protected, not only at home but around the globe as well. As such, once you return home, you’re going to want to be able to enjoy your new freedoms in civilian life, but that can be difficult if you have health issues.
Here, we’ll explore a few health issues that many veterans face once they return to civilian life.
When you enter the military, this is a career that is synonymous with loud noises that are often experienced in training or in combat.
Fully automatic weapons, heavy weaponry, explosions, and jet engines all produce significant decibels, and this can cause issues with hearing over time. In fact, most combat service members are issued hearing protection to help mitigate hearing damage.
Unfortunately, 3M earplugs were issued in 2002 to troops deployed to combat in the Middle East.
These earplugs have been linked to the development of tinnitus and severe hearing loss that they were supposed to protect against. As a result, many veterans are seeking compensation for hearing loss by filing lawsuits.
Hearing loss is no laughing matter, and as this condition worsens it will become more difficult to function in society. If you’ve recently separated from the military and you notice hearing loss, it’s time to go see your physician.
Life in the military is like no other. You meet some of your best, lifelong friends and learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. But, leaving military life can be a very difficult adjustment.
Many career service members come back to civilian life feeling like something is missing. This is often attributed to the fact that civilian life is structured entirely differently than it is inside the military. And many veterans struggle with how to fit back into society.
This struggle with reentry can often manifest depression. You might feel like you no longer have a purpose to serve, maybe you can’t find a job where military experience is relevant, or perhaps you may not be able to fit back in with others who haven’t served.
Depression can manifest as a result, and this may worsen over time. In fact, many veterans have taken their own lives due to complications with severe depression that went untreated.
If you notice your thoughts have become negative, or you generally feel listless or uninspired, it’s time to talk to a counselor and get yourself back on track mentally.
Like depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can manifest itself slowly. The main difference here is that PTSD can be triggered by sounds, imagery, and many other sources.
It’s estimated that around 11-20 out of every 100 military service members develop some form of PTSD, and this can range from mild to severe.
PTSD is a human response to a traumatic event. And since war and combat are both intensely traumatizing, it is no surprise that many combat veterans suffer from this condition. In order to treat PTSD, you have to be diagnosed and undergo psychiatric evaluation.
If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD due to combat or any other reason, seek counseling immediately so that you can begin therapy and get back to living a fulfilling life.
Though you may not be a disabled veteran, it is far more common than most people realize to come out of the military with underlying medical issues. Ensure that you see your doctor regularly, and report any issues that might arise immediately.