One of the most common Distorted Perceptions about behavioral health in the military is that revealing your diagnosis will automatically hurt your chances of advancing professionally. The Real Warriors Campaign challenges this idea, stating that “the decision to seek psychological health care counseling can actually favorably affect your eligibility for a clearance.” Check out their article for the ins and outs of how this process works.
Staff Sgt. Josh Hopper talks about how dealing with PTSD and addiction “like a marine” means talking to your commanding officer and receiving the treatment you need. “Being active duty, you’re branded as the tough guy… it takes real strength to swallow your pride and say I need help and actually get it.”
“According to a Department of Defense study, while the overall civilian rates of prescription drug misuse was 4.4%, the rate for veterans was 11.7%, over two-and-a-half times higher than the civilian rate. The problem is particularly acute for women who serve.”
“I’d never gotten help because I never wanted to appear weak. I’m the son of a man who lost his entire team in Vietnam. I’ve been through some of the toughest training on earth. I never quit anything in my life. So it took me the longest time to admit that I had a problem.”
“Misperceptions have emerged that negatively impact Veterans’ employment opportunities; opportunities which research shows are a major component of successful reintegration into civilian life.”
“Civilians may not be aware of the unique challenges that separating from military service and returning to civilian life can present. Here, we highlight some of these challenges.”
“He said: ‘Mom and Dad, I want to tell you something.’ I thought he had cancer. But he said: ‘I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD.’ When I heard those words, my heart sank. I thought it meant forever. I thought it meant a lifetime. But he explained to us that he was getting treatment. And that it was going away. My husband is a retired police officer. After Chris left, he said to me: ‘I’m so proud of him for talking about this stuff. Because I never did.’”
“Not everybody who goes through trauma develops PTSD. However, it is one of the most common invisible wounds. Researchers estimate that 10–14 percent of service members who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan have developed PTSD.”