Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Dealing with Veteran PTSD During the Holidays

Families of veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and California veterans benefits lawyers know that the symptoms of this condition are often aggravated during the holiday season. Holidays mean more entertaining and exposure to more people, placing veterans in a situation that they don't often feel equipped to handle well.

One of the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder is a gradual social alienation or withdrawal from social company. It is difficult to avoid company during the holidays, which makes this time a trying one for veterans as well as their families. Typically, symptoms of depression are aggravated during holidays, when everybody around you expects cheerfulness and joy.

Veterans also find that it's difficult for others to understand their condition during the holidays, when everybody is in high spirits and not willing to speak of depression, bad moods, or any of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, veterans who have not found a job after returning from combat duty may find the holidays especially stressful because of financial problems. This only aggravates the feelings of inadequacy and overall negativity that a veteran with post traumatic stress disorder struggles with.

Families of persons who suffer from PTSD must be especially careful around the holidays, and look out for a flare-up of symptoms. It's also important to be compassionate at this time, and to understand that the veteran wants to avoid social company. A person who suffers from PTSD may also want to avoid large crowds, and keep celebrations limited to small groups only.

Families also need to understand that small things can trigger symptoms of PTSD. For instance, a sudden greeting or a slap on the back can take the veteran right back to the scene of combat. Additionally, family members must also understand that drug and alcohol abuse risks for veterans with PTSD increase during the holidays. Think of other ways to celebrate the holidays with a veteran, like volunteering at a local homeless shelter.

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