Helping People With Disabilities Nationwide

The mental and emotional impact of losing friends in combat

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2019 | SSD - Veterans' Issues |

Many difficulties come along with joining the armed forces. It’s a physically demanding job. You run a high risk of injury or even death. This is especially true for those who see active combat, but it’s worth noting that even training can be more dangerous than what many people do on civilian jobs.

For many veterans, though, that’s not the hardest part of going to war. They can take the discomfort. They can deal with fear. They do not mind physical challenges. The toughest thing, for them, is losing those who are close to them.

The mental and emotional toll that this takes is impossible to overstate. It happens so quickly. Soldiers grow very close throughout training and especially in combat, and suddenly losing that person has an impact that can last for a lifetime. As one veteran put it, after losing a number of friends in the armed forces: “I felt hurt, sadness and pain that I was not used to feeling.”

For some, this can lead to very serious issues like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They may find themselves sinking so far into it that, on some days, they barely feel like they can get out of bed.

The good news is that there is help available for veterans. This type of mental issue is as much a war-related injury as anything else, and there are treatment options. However, it can be expensive, especially for those who cannot work because of their condition. They must make sure they understand all of the options that they have.


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