There are no words that can express enough our gratitude to the brave men and women who served in the armed service. The freedom we have today is not for granted, it pays by blood and sweat. So, it’s important to thank veterans for their service, especially on Veterans Day. Send sweet and heartfelt Veterans Day messages to melt their hearts and brighten their day.
After wars, veterans have to suffer serious mental health. The wounds of war can go beyond what is visible to the eye. From mental health problems to pain and illness that remain long after they leave the battlefield, veterans have to face multiple health issues. Now, we dig into some health problems facing veterans to have a deeper understanding of what our superheroes have to suffer.
What do most veterans suffer from?
Let’s see what do most veterans suffer from.
Mental Ailments Increasing
War veterans and those who still serve in the service are reported to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, depression, and even suicidal ideation. The statistics for these issues have gotten worse in recent years.
It is estimated that 11 to 20 percent of veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan have mental health matters. Many of those eventually choose to use drugs and alcohol to ease their pain. Returning service members often have difficulty integrating back into life in the United States with their families.
Veterans of the Gulf War have a similar risk, with 12% of them developing PTSD or 660,000 of the 5.5 million US service members in that conflict. These Veteran PTSD statistics show that the Gulf War and Iraq War also caused similar injuries to service members. Unfortunately, however, rates of PTSD for other conflicts are much higher.
Reasons for mental health problems include battle stress (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), survivor guilt, grief, and Traumatic Brain Injury. All of these things can make veterans despair and even alter the brain.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, often caused by a blow to the head, disrupts brain function and is known as the signature wound of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the National Academy of Sciences.
The Centers for Defense and Veterans Affairs Brain Injury indicates that blast exposure and other combat-related activities pose service members at a higher risk of maintaining TBI than their civilian counterparts.
Common effects of TBI include cognitive problems such as shorter attention spans, language disabilities, and incapacity to process information. Veterans may also experience a lack of motivation, irritability, stress and depression, headaches, loss of memory, and PTSD.
Noise and vibration exposure
Veterans often face loss of hearing and impairment including persistent ringing and tinnitus and buzzing in the ears. These are common results of harmful noise from heavy weapons, gunfire, noisy engine rooms, and airplanes.
Health issues associated with vibration exposure include numbness and tingling, as well as pain in the fingers and hands from using power tools and low back pain from operating heavy equipment daily.
Military sexual trauma (MST)
Both men and women serving in the armed service are sometimes at risk of military sexual trauma (MST), which is sexual harassment or sexual assault that happens while you serve in the military. It can significantly increase your risk of developing PTSD and related problems. Though this can occur to veterans regardless of gender, women are more likely to face MST.
In particular, four percent of the male military reported having unwanted sex, compared with 23 percent of female service members. Furthermore, 38% of men said they experienced sexual harassment, while 55% of women experienced harassment. These numbers show that women undergo MST at a greatly higher rate than the male military, especially when you consider that women make up only 14% of the active-duty military.
As a rule, all military personnel is routinely vaccinated prior to deployment. However, veterans with certain infections for which civilians almost never undergo vaccines that are not available, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. They include bacterial infections:
- Brucellosis, which may last for years
- Campylobacter Jejuni, which leads to abdominal pain, fever, and diarrhea;
- Coxiella Burnetii (Q Fever), which in chronic cases can cause inflammation of the heart.
- Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
- Nontyphoid Salmonella
- Visceral Leishmaniasis, happens in Brazil, East Africa, and India, which can be fatal if untreated. It is characterized by unusual fevers, muscle pain and weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen and liver, and anemia.
- West Nile Virus
Exposure to Chemicals
Exposure to hazardous chemicals is another important health risk that affects many veterans. For instance, of the nearly 2.8 million Americans who served in Vietnam, many were exposed to Agent Orange – a mixture of herbicides spread over dense vegetation to eliminate enemy’s hiding places – has led to serious health matters including cancer, diabetes type II, and ischemic heart disease.
More recently, according to a 2010 study, long-term heart damage can result from low-dose exposure to chemical warfare agents.
Musculoskeletal Injuries and Pain
A 2011 study confirmed that the main complaint of Gulf War veterans is chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP), a finding that is consistent with Veterans Administration statistics reporting that approximately 48% of veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan had similar complaints.
People with CMP often feel deep aches and pains throughout their entire body, and they may also undergo a twitching or burning sensation in their muscles. CMP also causes fatigue and sleep disturbances.
Final thoughts from TShirt at Low Price
Hopefully, this post helps you know what do most veterans suffer from? Keep in mind that our men and women in the service have to risk their lives and pay a deep cost to ensure our freedom and peace. When they came back to America, many of them suffered from health issues they never anticipated. So, it’s never a bad time to say thank you and feel gratitude for all the things they’ve sacrificed.
On Veterans Day, give them a meaningful gift to express your appreciation and thankfulness. Veteran t-shirts are a great idea to make them feel proud and loved.
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