You want to talk to someone who’s served, someone who’s put their lives before others. Someone who understands what it’s like to live the military life. Someone who fully understands the pressures and expectations while also understanding the honor and sacrifice. A military life where your spouse is a single parent when you’re deployed. First responder’s everyday struggles and harmful situations you’re placed in and the impacts it places on your family. You want someone who understands the sacrifice it plays on you and your family. Someone who can empathize with you from their own personal experiences and struggles. There’s been pain and strain…the damage that’s done, the guilt, and sometimes survivor’s remorse. You feel anxious, angry, paranoid, stressed, depressed, can’t sleep, having marital difficulties, irritable. You feel like no one understands you like you don’t fit into society anymore, like you want to be back with your brothers and sisters on the battlefield because that’s where you’re comfortable. It’s not odd for this lifestyle, it’s normal, and many times expected. We get you. You’re scared of the civilian world, of the unknown. Maybe you ask yourself, how will I transition without the military structure? Will people understand me or will I just be an outcast. I’m scared of transition. If you think your suffering from PTSD, depression, insomnia, TBI, or other mental health concerns related to your military or first responder type history, come see us.
- an overwhelming feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or pessimism,
- a loss of interest and enjoyment in most activities over an extended period of time,
- changes in appetite,
- trouble sleeping or sleeping too much,
- loss of energy or feeling tired all the time,
- difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions, or
- thoughts of death or suicide.
Sometimes signs of depression are more pronounced and other times depression symptoms are more subtle. Having depression doesn’t mean you’re weak, and it’s not something you just “get over.” Symptoms often interfere with functioning normally in your daily life and may require depression treatment. Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Going through a traumatic event, like military combat, a disaster, or assault can have lingering negative effects. Signs you may be suffering from PSTD include:
- intrusive thoughts including involuntary memories, nightmares or flashbacks,
- unexplained anger,
- trouble sleeping,
- being easily startled or jumpy,
- thoughts related to fear, anger, guilt or shame,
- feeling detached or estranged from friends and family, or
- reckless behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse.
When these issues persist, you could be experiencing PTSD. The same 2014 JAMA Psychiatry study found the rate of PTSD to be 15 times higher for military and veterans than for civilians. To learn more about how PTSD may impact veterans, you can visit the Veteran’s Administration PTSD page. Depression and PTSD are treatable. If you were in combat or other similarly stressful situations during your military service, it could be the habits that helped you cope with traumatic events are not as useful in civilian life. Staying strong as a civilian may mean you need to develop some new coping skills. The military life is structured, and some veterans find they miss that framework when they return to civilian life. Others miss the feeling of having a bigger purpose in their daily work, and some feel isolated because most civilians don’t understand what it’s like to serve. Your memories and experiences may take some time to deal with, and you owe yourself that time to heal. The truth is your service is selfless and something the majority of people don’t want to do or aren’t capable of doing. You deserve to feel accepted, understood, fulfilled and productive in your life. You deserve to be happy. Having a clinician who is also a veteran and gets it, can understand what you’ve gone through. She sees how no one in civilian society gets it. How you feel like an alien in your own home. You’re different from before because of what you’ve experienced, seen and done. Not only is she a veteran, but I’m also trained in techniques to help with your healing and recovery. I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness techniques to treat depression and PTSD symptoms. She is one of you, and she’s been helping veterans and military just like you. I think I need help, but I’m concerned my commanding officer will find out I’m in counseling. It’s worth noting here that the military has updated many of its policies in recent years to improve mental health support. The Department of Defense now acknowledges that an untreated mental health issue can pose a greater safety threat than a mental health issue that’s being treated. But we also want to clarify that Outside the Norm Counseling, Inc. is a private counseling practice in Temecula, CA serving the Temecula Valley and North San Diego County areas, not affiliated with the VA. Receiving depression and/or PTSD treatment in the private sector allows you to keep your diagnosis (if there is one) and records strictly between you and your therapist if you choose. What can you expect from counseling? At Outside the Norm Counseling, you’ll feel like you finally have someone who understands, who makes you feel comfortable talking about your experiences. You’ll be more confident in the civilian world than you were before and be more relaxed. You’ll get rid of the anger and resentment toward civilians and the military. A weight will be lifted as you feel like your efforts are appreciated. You’ll feel accomplished in your service and sacrifice, happy and more focused on the rest of your life. Getting started with counseling is easy: