If you have recently returned from deployment and have difficulty readjusting to civilian life or have symptoms of trauma, here are some ways you can cope:
- Understand that it's normal at the beginning to feel out of sync with your family and friends. It takes time to reconnect.
- Avoid social isolation. Make time for activities with family and friends. Include one-on-one time with your partner and children.
- Don’t tell yourself how to feel. Be patient.
- Let people who care about you take care of you.
- If you lost a fellow soldier in combat, share your loss with others. Don’t bottle up your emotions, but let friends and family know you may not want to speak about some experiences right away.
- Limit your use of alcohol, which does not make problems go away; in fact, it can make them worse or lead to alcohol dependence.
- Know when to seek help. If you are experiencing physical or emotional stress, contact a health professional.
Real Warriors, an initiative from the Defense Centers of Excellence, offers more tips.
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Watch a video of a Staff Sgt. Stacy Pearsall, a combat photographer who experienced PTSD. See how she got help.
Order a free brochure to help families manage the common challenges of military life: "7 Tools to Reinforce Military Family Resilience”
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Find out about the services available to veterans, and the options you have to get help. You can recover from experiences of trauma. Here's how.
Please contact your nearest VA to learn more.