PTSD

Iraq War veteran Roberto Cruz said he realized he needed mental health treatment after he got sick with COVID-19 in July and spent weeks in isolation.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Months of physical distancing and pandemic anxiety has been especially tough on veterans who were already dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related injuries.

Disruptions to everyday life caused by the coronavirus pandemic are putting a strain on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Some are seeking help virtually.

Veterans Jim Romero (left) and Ronnie Reyes practice yoga as part of their treatment at the VA Southern Nevada Health Care Center in Las Vegas. The newly opened center is the second inpatient gambling treatment facility in the VA system.
Steve Walsh / American Homefront

The Las Vegas center is the VA's second inpatient treatment facility for veterans, who are at higher risk of gambling addiction.

Army veteran Jesus Medina says exercising with his punching bag helps him release energy. Medina says he's still dealing with grief from his time in the military.
Emily Elena Dugdale / American Homefront

The University of California, Irvine study found that combat exposure is almost as likely to cause grief as it is to lead to PTSD.

Shawn Campbell helps Justin Herris get back on the boat after a dive at the Circle of Heroes military memorial off the coast of Clearwater, Fla.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

A growing number of programs try to treat PTSD by getting veterans into nature, even deep under the sea. But there's little scientific evidence that treatments like "scuba therapy" work.

Jesus Guzmán (right) and fellow Higher Ground veterans participate in a team-building exercise during a hike in Big Bear, Cal.
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

At "recreational therapy" camps, outdoor activities and mindfulness help veterans with PTSD, sexual trauma, and other issues.

Marines carry men wounded in a 1966 firefight in Vietnam.
Larry Burrows / Getty Images via PBS

The ten-part documentary by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is at times graphic, and people who work with veterans say it may trigger traumatic memories for those who fought in Vietnam.

Army veteran Russel Keyser shakes hands with his dog, Artemis, outside of his Ronkonkoma, NY home. Keyser says the dog helps him deal with the effects of PTSD.
Paige Pfleger / American Homefront

A growing number of veterans are acquiring service dogs to help cope with PTSD. But the VA won’t pay for them and says their effectiveness hasn’t been scientifically proven.

Veterans and family members at Tampa's American Legion Post 5 participate in a special Memorial Day ceremony for troops who died by suicide.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

Memorial Day can be especially difficult for relatives of service members who died by suicide. They often feel stigmatized, even around other military families.

New research suggests that post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans can lead to increased appreciation of life and enhanced inner strength.

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