As veterans with these conditions begin transitioning back to civilian life, they must learn how to reintegrate into society. They may experience difficulty adapting to life at home, school, work, or within the community. For example, adjusting to former daily routines, concentrating in the classroom, finding employment, and forming relationships might be challenging. They might also be unable to regulate their emotions and control their impulses. This could have dire consequences during activities such as driving, where unsafe behavior could lead to fatal motor vehicle accidents. Behavioral and emotional changes experienced by veterans post-deployment could, in turn, affect the well-being of family and friends.
Although awareness of mental illness is increasing in today’s society, there is still a palpable stigma surrounding conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. Those suffering may feel too ashamed to reach out for help or they may not understand the symptoms they are experiencing. In these cases, mental health issues may be left untreated and result in a worsening of symptoms. ...
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...safe driving habits; manage negative emotions; cope with stress; socialize; and identify and explore leisure activities. The individual will also work on any skills required to return to school or work.
For these reasons, I believe occupational therapy is instrumental in helping returning service members with traumatic brain injury and/or post-traumatic stress disorder overcome challenges as they shed their military roles and return to old ones. Occupational therapists can help these individuals experience a smoother transition to civilian life. It is necessary to increase awareness of occupational therapy’s ability to address the mental health needs of military veterans. Moreover, veterans who successfully reintegrate into their communities may help contribute to a decrease in mental health stigma, which will pave the way for others to seek appropriate treatment.
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