Veterans were asked to put their very lives on the line, doing one of the most dangerous and courageous jobs the United States has to offer. This can have a profound impact on them. Many come back home with injuries and disabilities that will never heal, like lost limbs, traumatic brain injuries and other permanent conditions.
However, even those who get out of the service without physical injuries may find themselves facing some serious challenges. They could struggle with major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These can impact their lives for years to come. They often lower a person’s quality of life and can even have tragic consequences.
How common are these issues? Per the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research, around one out of five veterans (20% total) who spent time in Afghanistan or Iraq is diagnosed with PTSD or major depression when they return home. These closely-related disorders can necessitate therapy, medication and other types of professional treatment.
Brain injuries are a big part of this issue. Of those with either disorder, researchers found that more than 19% had a history of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). While they may have recovered physically, such injuries can still have a drastic impact for the rest of their lives.
Our understanding of brain injuries and mental trauma is improving, but there is still much that people do not know. What is clear is that the links between the two are strong, and they can change lives. Veterans who suffer from these injuries and related issues have to know all of the legal options they have.