Common Health Issues that Veterans Face

Common Health Issues that Veterans Face

Veterans face many challenges in the field, which put their health in danger, both mentally and physically. They, therefore, need quality health care on their return to the community. Some of the most common health issues that veterans face include are listed below.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Soldiers not only see a lot when they have been deployed, but they also experience much. The symptoms include nightmares, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, and flashbacks of traumatic events. PTSD is a common health issue that most vets go through, and even though civilians experience it too, military personnel are likely to experience it four times more. The more tours and combat one goes for, the higher chance they will suffer PTSD. This is why many programs are put in place to help vets cope with the environmental change once they return home.

Mental Health Issues

Veterans who have faced combat exhibit signs of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Experiencing losses in the field takes a toll on the mental health of most veterans. Some programs focus on reintegrating veterans back into the community in a way that helps reduce the mental strain they have carried from serving.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A Traumatic brain injury can be a result of a severe blow to the head or body. Most vets’ common symptoms include memory loss, fatigue or drowsiness, headaches, and extreme mood swings. Mild concussions are common and can be easily addressed, but a traumatic brain injury can cause actual changes to the brain, affecting the victim’s life.

Hazardous Exposure

Veterans get exposed to dangerous substances like burn pits, mustard gas, contaminated water, and asbestos while serving. This exposure results in health issues like insomnia, pulmonary issues, and Mesothelioma cancer. This type of cancer affecting the lungs is dangerous because it can stay dormant for decades, only surfacing when one is at a crucial stage. The mesothelioma survival rate is not great, usually, someone diagnosed has about one year after diagnosis, but it will also depend on the type one suffers from.

Substance Use Disorder

Approximately one in every ten veterans is diagnosed with substance use disorder. Life while serving can be stressful, making most vets turn to drugs, alcohol, and cigarette smoking as coping mechanisms. Even when these vets come back home, they will continue using substances to deal with other underlying issues like insomnia and depression. They must be made aware of rehab treatment programs for veterans to receive the help they need.


According to the National Veteran Suicide Prevention report, the suicide rate among veterans is 1.5 times higher than the general population. At the same time, more than two-thirds of male veterans who committed suicide used a gun. This is because most of them cannot cope with the experience, especially when they return home. They carry so much baggage that they have seen, and they do not know how to unload.

Other health issues that vets face include chronic pain and amputation of certain body parts. This is why vets need counselling from time to time, as talking it out helps. Additionally, there are several coping mechanisms that vets can get in to ease them back into their communities.

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