April 9, 2021
VA Services for Vets Suffering from Various Mental Health Issues
If you know of a veteran who is having difficulty sleeping, temper tantrums, feelings of hopelessness or is simply finding it hard to transition to civilian life, you might want to refer them to your nearest VA medical facility. Last year, the VA was able to support more than 1.7 million veterans who were suffering from mental health problems.
One might ask, what mental health conditions does the VA treat? Here’s a list to answer that question:
Since veterans have experienced traumatic events in the conflict areas overseas where they were once deployed, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they’re more likely than civilians to develop depression. In 2008, VA researchers estimated that about one in three vets who visit primary care clinics has symptoms of the disorder, One in five has serious symptoms that require further evaluation for major depression, and one in eight has major depression that needs treatment. Common symptoms may include:
- Sudden weight loss or gain;
- Often feeling hopeless or sad for no reason;
- Losing interest in daily activities they used to enjoy;
- Eating more or less than usual;
- Changes in sleep pattern; and
- Feeling tired almost every day.
To treat depression, the VA provides psychotherapy sessions. Medications are prescribed for symptoms such as anxiety, sleep issues, and depression.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Like depression, PTSD is also common among veterans, especially those who have served in combat. The VA reported that 30% of Vietnam veterans, 20% of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans, and 10% of Gulf War veterans have experienced PTSD. People with the disorder experience the following symptoms:
- Flashbacks or nightmares of the traumatic event;
- Prolonged psychological distress;
- Trouble sleeping;
- Emotional numbness;
- Avoidance of places, people, and activities associated with the trauma; and
- Easily irritated or angered
The VA offers programs including one-to-one mental health assessment, family therapy, group therapy for special needs, one-to-one psychotherapy, and medications.
- Military sexual trauma (MST)
Military sexual trauma refers to sexual assault or harassment experienced during military service. According to the VA’s national screening program, one in four women and one in 100 men have experienced MST during their time in deployment. As with most types of trauma, victims may encounter these symptoms:
- Feelings of numbness or depression;
- Recurrent nightmares or disturbing memories;
- Easily irritated or angered;
- Trouble sleeping;
- Often feeling unsafe;
- Problems with alcohol or drugs; and
- Feeling isolated from everyone.
Services that are used to treat MST include individual counseling with specially trained psychologists, as well as specialized outpatient and inpatient mental health programs.
- Bipolar disorder
Vets living with bipolar disorder normally experience extreme mood swings at any given time. The disorder involves two periods — manic or hypomanic episodes, which involve unusually high energy levels, and depressive episodes.
While manic or hypomanic episodes lead to mood swings and hyperactivity, it can also result in increased irritability. On the other hand, depressive episodes cause individuals to experience symptoms like hopelessness, changes in appetite or sleep, difficulty concentrating, and losing pleasure in usual activities.
- Suicidal behavior
About 17 veterans take their own lives every day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report. Whether it’s due to anxiety, depression, hopelessness, or loneliness, some mentally troubled veterans believe that suicide is the only solution left for them. Here are signs that someone might be suicidal:
- Feeling sad, anxious, or depressed most of the time;
- Isolating from loved ones;
- Sleeping most of the time (or having no sleep at all);
- Feelings of excessive shame or guilt;
- No longer caring about what will happen to them;
- Loss of interest in hobbies and things they used to enjoy;
- Poor work performance;
- Risky behavior; and
- Presence of self-inflicted wounds.
The VA assists these individuals by referring them to specially trained suicide prevention coordinators and vet centers that offer transitioning assistance programs. The VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration offices can also be of huge help since it provides deserving vets with free access to job training, home loans, disability compensation, and many more benefits.
Although not as common as PTSD and depression, schizophrenia can be experienced by some veterans. Like the previously mentioned mental health issues, schizophrenia can adversely affect one’s life and relationships. Common symptoms to look out for are:
- Difficulty expressing or feeling positive emotions
- Changes in behavior
- Memory loss, trouble concentration, and poor decision making
- Confused thinking
- Reduced range of emotional expression
Among the services offered by the VA are psychotherapy, peer support, group counseling, and medications.
- Anxiety-related conditions
The VA also provides treatment for veterans who suffer from anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and specific phobias.
You Can Help Vets Get Mental Health Support
Not all of our retired service members are lucky enough to get access to VA’s mental health services, among other assistance programs. The unlucky ones need all the help that they can get. That’s why we at Veteran Car Donations and our nonprofit partners are here to fill the gap in the services for veterans that the government provides.
You can help in our mission to improve the living conditions of our nation’s suffering heroes. All you have to do is to donate to us any vehicle you no longer need. We’ll have your vehicle auctioned off, with the proceeds going to our nonprofit partners. These are IRS-certified 501(c)(3) military and veteran nonprofit organizations that provide their beneficiaries with quality health care, financial aid, housing assistance, employment opportunities, family support, educational scholarships, psychotherapy services, and many other benefits.
A few weeks after we sell your donated vehicle, we’ll mail you your tax-deductible sales receipt. This receipt gives you the right to claim a top tax deduction in the next tax-filing season. Plus, there wouldn’t be a need for you to pay for the towing of your unwanted vehicle anymore — it’s on us!
We accept almost all vehicle types, including those that are no longer working properly. You can also make your donation anywhere in the country since our vehicle donation program covers all 50 states.
If you’re interested to learn more about what we do, our donation process, and tax deduction details, just visit our FAQs page. Feel free to reach us anytime at 877-594-5822 if you have any questions or concerns. You may also leave us a message here and we’ll reply promptly.
Transform Lives Today!
It only takes a vehicle donation to transform the lives of our vets who are suffering not only mentally, but also physically, emotionally, and financially. Call Veteran Car Donations at 877-594-5822 or fill out our online donation form to get started with your car donation now!