Best Online Therapy for Veterans
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Looking throughout history, talking to a therapist has never found its way out in the open. Usually, mental illness has been kept hidden, tucked away from what everyone else considered “normal”.
This is especially emphasized when talking about veterans. Surprisingly, veterans are perceived as people that are dangerous, unpredictable, and always tough, regardless of what life throws at them. Not only is it unfair – it’s inhumane.
The Cohen Veterans network conducted a research in which they debunked some myths around veterans.
The same study showed that 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, approximately 12% of Gulf War veterans, and 15% of Vietnam veterans suffer from PTSD.
Veterans are people that are exposed to trauma that others are lucky enough to never have to experience.
Dealing with this sort of shock can be difficult which is why many are immediately advised to seek help from therapists.
In this article, we have detailed the reasons why veterans need help, the benefits, and what is the best online therapy for veterans.
Why Veterans Need Therapy
Many military veterans experience various types of mental health disorders – anxiety, depression, and foremost PTSD.
Contrary to the popular belief, veterans regularly go to therapy sessions to try and ease the pain from their past experiences. While the body can easily return to its pre-traumatic state, the mind is a bit trickier.
Veterans experience various symptoms after they return from the battlefield. These can show within as fast as several days, sometimes 3 months after the incident.
However, there are cases when PTSD, for example, shows up after several years with no prior indication.
Here are a few reasons why veterans might need therapy:
- Negative thoughts, mood swings – many veterans tend to blame themselves for the events that have occurred.
This leads to their disassociation from the rest of the world and big fluctuations in their mood which can also affect the people around them.
- Avoidance – just as we mentioned, the traumatic experiences that come from war tend to sneak up on people and make them retreat into themselves.
This results in breaking many personal and professional relationships and slowly losing interest in many daily activities.
- Reliving past events – it’s not unusual for veterans to have nightmares about their time on the battlefield.
But it doesn’t mean that these flashbacks come only during the night. Strong and sudden movements or sounds can trigger their PTSD or anxiety.
- Hypersensitivity – led by previous experiences, many veterans watch their surroundings with particular vigilance.
They constantly feel as if a threat is lurking behind every corner which is why their senses are on high alert. Inadvertently this makes them more agitated and easily startled.
Plus, this brings other problems like lack of concentration and focus.
3 Best Therapy for Veterans
Once a person comes back from the battlefield, the best thing is for their close circle of friends and family to encourage a therapy session.
Even though many refuse this as a first step, as we mentioned, PTSD, anxiety, or even depression can show up much later.
Thanks to globalization, today everyone has the chance to talk to a certified professional in mere seconds.
Online therapy platforms are easier to come in touch with and can be more comfortable than traditional therapy sessions.
Naturally, there are many platforms that specifically give therapy for veterans.
Some even work around a specific topic from the military like military sexual trauma (MST), substance abuse, employment, etc.
The following is a list of some of the best online therapy for veterans:
This platform offers “face-to-face” sessions with certified therapists done online. They mainly target life’s changes and challenges and thus help veterans reintegrate in society.
The therapies here are created to specifically work with military-related mental health disorders. They also offer services for the close family of military members.
Most therapies for veterans include treatments like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).
Sometimes therapies like Prolonged Exposure (PE) or Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) can help with brain “rewiring” and creating positive thinking thoughts and behavior.
Naturally, support from the family and close friends is important through this process. In some cases, the therapist or psychiatrist can prescribe medication as additional help.
How Counseling Can Help Veterans in Trauma & Depression?
For ordinary people, war trauma is something that they see only in the movies, but for some it is the harsh reality.
Many have to face this issue on a daily basis. For that reason, it is highly advised to, as we mentioned, talk to a specialist right after their discharge.
A specific therapy for veterans can slowly ease them back into society and normal living.
The aftershock of war can’t be immediately felt, which is why therapy can bring and resolve this issue faster before it manifests on its own.
But we also have to take into account the families of deployed soldiers. The process of reintegration of a veteran naturally brings the people most close to them in direct contact with the therapeutic process.
Many platforms that offer therapy for veterans also ask for contributions from family members and their full involvement.
Aside from the individual session, they give marriage or family counseling, which would show the soldier that they are not alone and have the utmost support from their loved ones.
In general, therapy won’t magically erase the memories of war. But it can definitely contribute to easing the soldier’s reintegration and help with various disorders that result from the deployment.
Working Towards a Better Tomorrow
War is not easy on anyone, especially for those that are thrown directly into the battlefield.
Many veterans bring back severe PTSD, anxiety, or other mental health disorders that are surely going to influence their daily lives.
Talking with a licensed therapist can help not only the soldier but the people closest to them as well. Luckily today there are many platforms that offer therapy for veterans.
All it takes is one step to work towards a better future for you and your loved ones!