I have had a profound experience with a soldier who has suffered from traumatic events. His brother was struggling with PTSD, and the family was going through significant emotional distress. The parents were understandably worried about their other son being exposed to such events, and we spoke extensively to address their concerns. As a journalist, this encounter touched my heart deeply.
In such situations, we use psychoeducation to educate families about the phenomenon of PTSD and provide them with tools they can use to help themselves and their loved ones. We also work closely with the soldier himself to provide him with the necessary assistance, which was much needed after a few days of talking with me. The relief that came after seeing him improve significantly was enormous.
One of the biggest challenges I face in my profession is transitioning from working intensely with soldiers in the military to returning to other commitments at the hospital. Additionally, I am preparing for a final exam for my internship in psychiatry that has been condensed into an incredibly short period due to reserve duty obligations.
As mental health professionals, it has become increasingly apparent that there is limited knowledge about treating combat stress and trauma compared to our understanding of providing long-term care for people who have experienced trauma over time. While research on this topic is scarce, it is crucial that we continue to learn and improve our methods for assisting soldiers who have been through traumatic experiences.
If there were one thing I could change about how mental health services are provided to soldiers today, it would be ensuring that these treatments remain available consistently for reservists who are discharged and require continued care after leaving active duty service. It’s essential that our commitment to supporting these brave men and women extends beyond their time serving in the military.
After serving in combat for an extended period, I have learned firsthand that soldiers’ mental health concerns are taken seriously by their commanders and peers alike, even though it may not detract from their fighting spirit or operational activity. However, more open discussions about the complex situations soldiers face while deployed would be beneficial as well as increasing access to mental health services when they return home.
In conclusion, trauma is a national problem, and it’s crucial for society as a whole to offer acceptance, containment, and assistance to those experiencing mental distress after serving in combat roles.