According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about one out of every 4 active duty military members in the United States showed signs of mental health conditions. In fact, in 2018, more than 1.7 million Veterans received treatment for mental health conditions in a VA program.
Because it is common for veterans and active military members to experience these conditions, you must learn to recognize the signs.
Do you want to learn how depression affects military veterans and active military members? Keep reading these 5 common ways military members are affected.
1. It Can Lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
One of the biggest problems with depression in military members or veterans is that it can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. This is something that usually happens after a life-threatening or another traumatic event.
Because military combat is so dangerous and your life is constantly in danger, veterans and active-duty members may find themselves struggling with this mental health disorder.
When you have PTSD, you generally can return to a normal life. However, there may be some reactions due to stress or other triggers that can affect your daily life. Whether you have nightmares, flashbacks, and more, PTSD can significantly impact your life.
If your loved one experiences depression or PTSD, you may consider getting Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. TMS therapy has been found to help veterans with these disorders.
2. Creates Problems With Sleeping
Next, depression can create trouble with sleeping. As was mentioned before, PTSD can cause nightmares and other reactions as you sleep. Because of this, many people who suffer from depression or PTSD avoid falling asleep and facing their memories.
Many people who are actively serving in the military also struggle with insomnia. Insomnia can actually lead to more depressive symptoms. Because of your sleep loss, it can make the deployment experience much worse.
While this affects people serving in the military, sleeping problems generally accompany anyone who has depression. This may make it harder for them to fall asleep or harder to stay asleep. Because of this, it may result in extreme fatigue during the daytime.
This is a vicious cycle that may be hard to break. By getting poor sleep, depressive symptoms can increase.
3. More Irritability
Another common symptom that those with depression in the military face is irritability. This includes angry outbursts and other issues with anger.
Depression is a disorder that affects your mood. Because it can impair your moods, it can also make it harder to regulate your emotions. Those who have served or are currently serving in the military may feel like they didn’t deserve to go through what they did.
If they feel this way, they may react with hostility and anger. People that have depression are generally more negative in the way they perceive the world around them. If you notice a friend or loved one in the military with problems with anger or impatience, this may be a symptom of their depression.
Anger as a depressive symptom is also linked to depression that lasts longer, rather than situational depression. It can also be linked to other mental problems, like bipolar disorder.
4. Change in Behavior and Personality
Next, a common problem with military members and depression changes in their behavior and personalities.
For example, many people who have depression after serving in the military may feel apathetic to everything around them. This may mean that they no longer enjoy the things they once loved.
Another example of a personality change is similar to irritability. They may not control their emotions as easily, and you may notice more angry outbursts. While it can be difficult to deal with unkind people, realizing that it is a symptom of depression can help you find your friends or loved ones’ help.
Finally, you may notice changes in the way they think. If your loved one who served in the military used to be a positive thinker and now has a negative outlook on life, there may be a cause. If you notice any signs of active depression or if your friend is in a depressive state, you can find them helpful.
5. Difficulty Concentrating
Lastly, those who experience depression after serving in the military may have difficulty concentrating. For example, they may not be able to stick to a task and finish it.
They may also not be able to make decisions about important things. When depression is more severe, this may result in the inability to do any daily tasks.
One problem associated with difficulty concentrating is that it may cause the depressive symptoms to become worse. When you lose focus and are unable to take care of yourself, you may feel hopeless. This can create more feelings of depression and can make it even harder to concentrate.
Because anxiety and depression are linked, difficulty concentrating may increase anxiety in those who have served in the military. Because they are worried that they aren’t accomplishing enough during the day, they may feel more anxious and find it even more difficult to concentrate.
By breaking these cycles and finding treatments for depression, you can help ease the symptoms of depression.
Find Treatment For Military Members With Depression Today
Depression can affect many people, including active and veteran military members. By learning how depression can affect your loved ones, you can learn how to help them cope with their symptoms of depression. If you are looking for treatment options for depression, Inland Empire TMS can help.
Inland Empire TMS in Riverside County offers TMS therapy to military members struggling with depression. Do you want to learn more about our clinic and how we can help you as a military member? Contact our office today to learn more about our TMS treatments, psychiatry, or schedule an appointment with our team.