The Military’s Truth About Depression – A Video
A Different Type of Battle for This Navy man
This is a real story. The battle lines are in the mind of this Active Duty Military man. No names or identifying information is used, and this story was previously published by the author.
“I wasn’t really sure where to post this but I figured this was probably as good as any other. This is also my first post so please bear with me.
“I am in active duty military, the Navy, and things just seem so bad right now. I wish I could say that this was from PTSD from a warzone or something, but it’s not and that makes me feel even worse or more guilty. I did do a tour in Iraq a few years ago but I don’t think I really saw anything that would make me feel like this, I don’t know.
“My wife left me. I think that is what really sent me into the dark place I am right now. I have two children that I miss more than anything. I miss all of us being a family together. Looking back now I think I may have suffered from depression before she left and that was one of things that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage. There were times when she wanted me to lay with her or spend time with her or just touch her and I didn’t do any of that.
“I feel like I fake being happy at work and put on a smile, act like everything is alright. I feel like breaking down and just hiding under my desk and crying would just be seen as a sign of weakness, eventhough that is what I feel like doing. I have seen a therapist, a clinic social worker, a few times and she just says it is situation depression from the divorce. I feel like it’s more. Sometimes I feel like I can barely function. I have thought about suicide alot. I never attempted it but I probably think about it everyday.”
This story is heart breaking. It could be told by thousands of military members, their spouses or their enrolled friends. These individuals need an assist – and it’s available in many forms.
Mental Health Resources – Find Free Help
President Obama, along with the full force of the US government, believes that all Veterans, service members and their families should receive the mental health and substance use services and support they need. So it was that In 2012, President Obama signed Executive Order 13625 directing the Departments of Defense (DoD), Veterans Affairs (VA), and Health and Human Services (HHS) to take such steps.
These steps include:
- strengthening suicide prevention efforts across the Military Services and in the Veteran community;
- enhancing access to mental health care by building partnerships between VA and community providers;
- increasing the number of VA mental health providers serving our Veterans; and
- promoting mental health research and development of more effective treatment methodologies.
The Departments continue to take action to execute the President’s Executive Order through an Interagency Task Force. You can find these services online, summarized below.
Choose your situation:
Current and former service members may face different mental health issues than the general public.
Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense to Service Members and their families to help with a broad range of concerns, including possible mental health problems. Call and talk anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-342-9647.
DCoE Outreach Center
The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) provides information and resources about psychological health, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury. To contact the center:
- Call 1-866-966-1020, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Real Warriors Live Chat
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs Mental Health Resources
The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs Mental Health Resources provides information about mental health and support services specifically for veterans.
- The VA Mental Health connects Veterans to mental health services the VA provides for Veterans and Families. All mental health care provided by VHA supports recovery. The programs aim to enable people with mental health problems to live meaningful lives in their communities and achieve their full potential.
- Vet Centers: Community based centers that provide a range of counseling, outreach and referral services to eligible Veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life.
- National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The center’s purpose is to improve the well-being and understanding of individuals who have experienced traumatic events, with a focus on American Veterans.
- National Call Center for Homeless Veterans: Resource to ensure homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have access to trained counselors 24/7. The hotline is intended to assist homeless Veterans, their families, VA Medical Centers, federal, state and local partners, community agencies, service providers and others in the community.
- Make the Connection is VA’s public awareness and outreach campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness on mental health symptoms, conditions, and treatment and encourage Veterans to get the care and support they have earned through their service.
Resources for Both Service Members and Veterans
National Resource Directory (NRD)
The National Resource Directory (NRD) connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, and their families with national, state, and local support programs. The NRD is a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs.
Moving Forward: A free, on-line educational and life coaching program that teaches Problem Solving Skills to help you to better handle life’s challenges. It is designed to be especially helpful for Veterans, service members and their families.
Help for Treatment-Resistant Depression
TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a new therapy that involves no drugs and is proven safe and effective – for treatment-resistant depression! TMS is free of the negative side effects often associated with taking antidepressants.