October 16, 2021

U.S. Veterans

U.S.A Veterans News, Support & Information

Call 877-WAR-VETS if you need someone to listen | theSITREP

3 min read

Veterans of all eras, along with currently serving members of the Armed Forces and family members can call 877-WAR-VETS if they or a Veteran they know is in need of assistance. You are not alone. VA is here to help.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Veterans Crisis Line | Call 800-273-8255, Press 1 or visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net

In case of an emergency, you can also visit your local VA Medical Center 24/7 regardless of your discharge status or enrollment in VA health care. To find the VA nearest you, visit https://www.va.gov/find-locations/

To find a Vet Center nearest you, visit https://www.va.gov/find-locations/

Staff at VA Medical Centers and Vet Centers are able to connect you with additional resources that are fitting to your needs. Please do not hesitate to contact or visit them for additional resources.

COMMON REACTIONS

In reaction to current events in Afghanistan, Veterans may:

– Feel frustrated, sad, helpless, grief or distressed
– Feel angry or betrayed
– Experience an increase in mental health symptoms like symptoms of PTSD or depression
– Sleep poorly, drink more or use more drugs
– Try to avoid all reminders or media or shy away from social situations
– Have more military and homecoming memories

Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service.

Veterans may feel like they need to expect and/or prepare for the worst. For example, they may:

– Become overly protective, vigilant, and guarded
– Become preoccupied by danger
– Feel a need to avoid being shocked by, or unprepared for, what may happen in the future

Feeling distress is a normal reaction to negative events, especially ones that feel personal. It can be helpful to let yourself feel those feelings rather than try to avoid them.

STRATEGIES FOR ONGOING DISTRESS

At this moment, it may seem like all is lost, like your service or your sacrifices were for nothing. Consider the ways that your service made a difference, the impact it had on others’ lives or on your own life. Remember that now is just one moment in time and that things will continue to change.

It can be helpful to focus on the present and to engage in the activities that are most meaningful and valuable to you. Is there something you can do today that is important to you? This can be as an individual, a family member, a parent, or a community member. Something that is meaningful to you in regard to your work or your spirituality? Such activities won’t change the past or the things you can’t control, but they can help life feel meaningful and reduce distress, despite the things you cannot change.

It can also help to consider your thinking. Ask yourself if your thoughts are helpful to you right now. Are there ways you can change your thinking to be more accurate and less distressing? For example, are you using extreme thinking where you see the situation as all bad or all good? If so, try and think in less extreme terms. For example, rather than thinking “my service in Afghanistan was useless” consider instead “I helped keep Afghanistan safe.”

#theSITREP #VAbenefits #VANewEngland

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