When you hear the words "bipolar disorder", do you understand what they mean? We hear it in passing, usually from people who don't really know what it is, when describing someone who might act like two different people at times. It seems to be used interchangeably with schizophrenia or having multiple personalities, but the three are not the same thing.
Schizophrenia is a condition characterized by delusional thinking and hallucinations. Multiple personality disorder is an illness that makes a person think there is more than one defined identity within his or her being, and those identities coexist to take on different... Continue reading →
It’s a bit of a Catch 22: being able to “hold your liquor” is the sign of a tough man, but turning to alcohol time and again to drown the pain of battle memories turns you into a shadow of a man. For male and female military personnel and veterans, there is an increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse for multiple reasons, including military culture and stress-related mental health issues such as PTSD.
Male vets have always been far more likely to abuse alcohol than the general population—especially after returning home from traumatic battle situations. With more women in the military than in times past, female vets are also reporting higher percentages of heavy or binge drinking, though female military vets prefer to abuse more prescription drugs than alcohol.
The sights,... Continue reading →
While suffering from depression is not a unique experience for people in any particular career, military personnel and their families are more susceptible to both depression and other issues such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and anxiety. The 2010 Medical Surveillance Report from the US Department of Defense reported that over 27% of military personnel who have lived in combat situations report having depression, and that doesn’t count the number of spouses and children of military personnel who also suffer from depression.
You can have depression along with other mental health issues, or on its own. Depression can have a devastating effect on your ability to function normally in your life in the military and with your... Continue reading →
Most people have had the blues along the way, but some people suffer from mild to severe depression, which can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain or feelings of hopelessness in the face of a stressful or traumatic situation—or both.
When you are depressed, your body responds in many ways, including through a decrease in vitality of your organs and bodily systems as well as your posture. Depressive posture is a structural collapse that can increase with the severity and duration of the depression. The head comes down and the shoulders come forward, and this causes a shortening in the abdominal muscles and... Continue reading →
One stays behind and the other enters a combat zone. For civilian spouses, the stress and anxiety of watching their military husband or wife or significant other suffer from depression, PTSD, and substance abuse brought on by the horrors of battle or the demands of military life can be overwhelming. You may be asking yourself how you can be supportive and what your role is within the relationship and your family.
As the spouse, you could also be watching your military wife or husband spiral ever deeper into mental illness, which is often accompanied by alcohol or substance abuse, is and sometimes accompanied by violence.
While you can’t cure your spouse, you can do as much as possible to keep yourself healthy and able to deal with raising children or preventing yourself... Continue reading →