After returning from active duty, many veterans find it hard to fit back into society. They just feel like they do not have much in common with people in the States. They feel like they see the world in a new and different way that people who never served just cannot understand.
In some cases, this manifests itself as social anxiety. It can be so severe that it prevents people from working and having personal relationships. Per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, some signs of severe social anxiety include feeling nervous:
- When taking classes or attending meetings
- When socializing with large and small groups of people
- When attending parties and gatherings with friends
- When talking to someone new
- When getting up in front of a group to speak
- When talking with someone in a position of authority
- When it is time to be assertive or stand up for yourself
- When going out on a to date
- When it’s necessary to start a conversation or maintain a relatively long conversation
- When writing or otherwise performing important tasks in public
For instance, maybe you’re trying to get a job, but your anxiety takes over whenever you have an interview. You struggle to talk to people in authority or start conversations with people you don’t know. This anxiety could then keep you out of the workforce, even if you have all of the proper training and the skills to do the job.
It’s very important to take mental health seriously. If you’re struggling in any way, be sure you know what options you have.