Members of the Micajah Pettaway Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution were informed about military men and women who return home displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder during their January meeting.
The speaker for the meeting was Deborah B. Burnette, a licensed counselor in Rocky Mount with 30 years of experience.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is extremely complex. Burnette said that anyone will have stress reactions after a trauma, such as rape, a natural disaster, serious accident or returning from deployment overseas. Given time, most people recover from the stress. If stress symptoms don’t go away after about three months, the person may be diagnosed with PTSD. Symptoms can include nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping and substance abuse. The man or woman may also have difficulties in social or family life. The suicide rate is extremely high among people with PTSD.
Many who suffer from PTSD are military servicemen or women. One major concern is that soldiers are often redeployed before they have the time to get the help they need. Whether the soldier has just returned from deployment or has been home for 40 years, however, it’s never too late to get professional help. Veterans who did not realize they had PTSD for many years have also benefited from treatment.
The military has many resources for active servicemen. Burnette spoke about one such resource, Military One Source, which provides counseling to active servicemen or women who are suffering from any problem. Veterans can contact the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Administration for help.
If the soldier or veteran will not seek help, family members can go to counseling Learning about PTSD will help family members understand what the sufferer is experiencing. The more they learn, the better everyone can handle the situation. They can offer to go to doctor visits, listen to what the serviceman has to say, plan family activities or plan physical activities together.
The Daughters of the American Revolution support and honor active servicemen and women and veterans through a variety of programs.
The information Burnette shared with members of the chapter provided invaluable information.