Scars of service

Here’s a listing of some of the scars from serving our country that many Veterans face:

  • Adjustment difficulties
  • Crying, stress, panic, loneliness
  • Problem-solving, decision making, memory and cognition problems
  • Irritability and anger; expression of terrible anger that may include violent outbursts
  • Easy access to or familiarity with guns and other lethal weapons
  • Becoming emotionally numb to survive; shutting down; active avoidance of trauma-related thoughts and feelings
  • Loss of interest in activities or people; feeling detached or estranged from loved ones; dissipation of some basic human emotions like empathy; building a wall against others with lack of trust
  • Marital difficulties; acts of physical and verbal violence toward partner; lack of communication in family, absence of family support
  • Frequent nightmares and other sleep disturbances related to war zone traumatic stress
  • Child-rearing difficulties
  • Employment challenges
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is the most prevalent psychiatric disorder arising from combat; flashbacks, or triggers or intrusive thoughts that are unwelcome memories or re-experiencing of past traumatic events
  • Fight-or-flight reaction to a life-threatening situation
  • Numbing with alcohol or drugs; problem alcohol or drug use to cope with stress reactions
  • Criminal activity to support illegal drug use
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts and violent behavior
  • Survivor/survival guilt – self-blame, guilt, shame
  • Major depression
  • Comorbid psychiatric and medical disorders and substance abuse
  • Cancers or other medical conditions due to exposure to chemical agents; can include a range of toxic substances such as chemical and biological warfare agents, vaccinations for botulinum toxoid and anthrax, infectious diseases, depleted uranium, oil well fires, pesticides, chemical agent-resistant coatings (CARC) paint and a combination of these exposures
  • Homelessness
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