Homeless Veterans Living With PTSD
From: Very Well Mind
By: Amy Morin, LCSW
An article from May 2018. Good insight.
It's hard to imagine someone who served our country in the military living on the streets. Unfortunately, for many veterans, homelessness is a sad reality. Although there’s no official count, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that nearly 40,000 veterans are homeless.
One of the biggest contributing factors to homelessness among the veteran population is post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
Living as a homeless veteran is hard enough. Add in the struggles of PTSD, and it takes the situation to a whole different level.
PTSD can affect anyone who’s experienced a traumatic situation, even if they’re not in the military. However, because traumatic situations can be commonplace in war zones, it affects military members disproportionately.
PTSD triggers a person’s “flight-or-flight” response in a situation that doesn’t necessarily require it. To be officially diagnosed with PTSD, a veteran will experience the following symptoms for at least one month:
At least one avoidance symptom. Avoidance symptoms stem from the affected veteran wanting to stay away from places, events or objects that remind them of the traumatic experience, as well as avoiding thoughts or feeling related to it. So, a veteran may avoid talking about war or may steer clear of people who served in the military altogether because being around other veterans brings back bad memories.