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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Veterans and the invisible illness

Veterans are taught to be braver and stronger than they are. They control themselves under the worst conditions and have a courage that goes beyond what words can explain.

There is a great respect for those who have faught bravely for our freedom that should be instilled in all Americans. These men and women face things we cannot even imagine and most come home with scars of battle.

According to at least 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and/or depression.

Depression and PTSD are not easy to detect so most veterans suffer with these unaware of their affliction.

A study done by the RAND Corporation, a research and development non-profit, states that “depression can be a reaction to loss; PTSD, a reaction to trauma; and TBI, traumatic brain injury, a consequence of blast exposure or other head injury. Unfortunately, these conditions are often invisible to the eye.”

There are many things that happen in a war considered to be traumatic. Because of this, soldiers are at risk for many disorders such as PTSD and depression. Recognizing their invisible battles should only re-instill our respect for them.

PTSD is a disorder where one experiences panic attack symptoms when mentally reliving a traumatic experience over and over again. These attacks are brought up through nightmares or flashbacks and most of the time one cannot tell reality from the frightening hallucination. states on their web page aimed toward helping veterans “In late 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a report showing that since 9/11, close to 30 percent of Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD. For veterans who saw combat, the numbers are even higher, with one Pew Research Center report showing a 49 percent rate of PTSD”

The scars from battle are the some of the hardest battles, not only for the soldiers, but for their families as well. To see a loved one suffer so violently is difficult. Imagine someone you love coming back from war and witnessing them relive the frightening moments on a regular basis. It is a scary thing for the soldier because it is as if they never truly come home.

There are so many soldiers out there that suffer in silence because they do not want to put their loved ones through their suffering and they do not want people to know their afflictions. These soldiers fought in battle and yet they feel as if they are supposed to be stronger when they are home and facing an invisible illness. They are heroes, but even heroes need to get help sometimes. That is why there are many support groups for soldiers and veterans who suffer from various mental disorders.

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