If you are a veteran and have vivid dreams of being in theater that are terrifying, you may have PTSD. In fact, out of all veterans who receive compensation benefits from the VA, 22% of them are from service-connected PTSD. If you've been in a wartime theater of operations and are struggling with daily life, here is some important information you should know.
Finding a Mental Health Provider
There are VA medical centers located throughout the United States. However, VA centers are not the only option for veterans with PTSD. Non-VA providers are provided with consultations, education, information, and training by the VA's PTSD Consultation Program. Essentially, you will receive the same treatment and care for PTSD from a non-VA provider as you would at a VA medical center.
Types of Therapies for PTSD
There are several types of therapies that can help those with PTSD, including medication, talk therapies, and/or residential care. Medication can include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood-stabilizing medications. Talk therapies are beneficial as well and include cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and prolonged exposure therapy. Of course, these therapies will take place under the direct care of a provider, so you'll be in a safe environment while in their office.
Safety Considerations for Home
You may be more concerned about dealing with the fears and anxiety you have while you are not in the controlled environment of your provider. If you are married, have children who live with you, or live with a roommate, you'll need to get them on board. Ask your provider to give those who live with you a family counseling session on how to help you cope with your PTSD.
To stay safe at home, consider getting an emotional support dog from . Emotional support dogs can help stabilize your moods and give you friendship and companionship when you need it the most. Those nightmares of being in combat that you have at night? An emotional support dog can recognize when you are troubled and anxious, even when you are sleeping. Your dog can wake you up faster than reveille. Contact companies like Next Generation Psychology to learn more about emotional support animals.
Dealing with Financial Stress
On top of PTSD, and perhaps due to PTSD, you may have financial stress as well. With a PTSD diagnosis from your provider, you will be able to apply for VA disability, which can help your financial situation. If you choose to get an emotional support dog, you may be concerned about finances related to having a dog.
However, there are many organizations out there that help veterans cover costs of veterinary bills and pet food. And anything you do pay out of pocket for your emotional support dog, you can take a medical deduction for when you file your taxes.