Treating Mental Illness In The Military Family

military family mental illness

Men and women who serve in the military are entitled to receive adequate medical and psychological care. Those who deploy overseas face significant obstacles, risking both life and limb. The impact this type of existence can have on such people is high. Many servicemen and women who come back to the United States from tours in the Middle East find that they now have a fight of a different kind, mental illness.

At HVRC, we accept TRICARE insurance; and, have created a program designed to address the unique needs of men and women serving in the military. However, we also understand that the entirety of a military family can encounter mental health difficulties. Mothers and fathers, husbands or wives, and sons and daughters can all experience traumas of their own; the symptoms of which can significantly disrupt a person’s life.

These people, after all, have to contend with the thought that they may never see their loved one again after deployment. Such fears can wreak havoc on a person’s mind. Those who lack healthy methods of coping with emotions that accompany having a loved one in the military can develop mental health conditions, including alcohol or substance use disorder.

For the families whose loved ones who do manage to make it home, the reality that the person they love has changed can take a severe toll. An individual does not have to be on the battlefield to become collateral damage.


Military Families Struggle With Mental Illness, Too

Research tells us that service men and women, and their spouses are at a higher risk of developing depression than the general public. Untreated depression, for instance, often results in suicidal ideation and the development of substance use disorder. Simply put, mental illness can be deadly; thus immediate intervention is of the utmost importance.

Naturally, children face obstacles of their own. In 2016, more than 2,200 children had already lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the NCCP. It is also worth noting that of the 1.7 million soldiers who had served overseas by the end of 2008, nearly half were parents, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports. A study published in 2010 found that the children of deployed parents are at heightened risk of behavioral, stress, and mood disorders.

The negative emotions that spouses and children experience while their loved ones are away can lead to anxiety and depressive disorders. Such individuals often turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping, only to exacerbate their symptoms and risk developing a substance use disorder. When servicemen or women come home changed, and their loved one is already having trouble coping with their emotions, it can create a perfect storm of dysfunction.

It is vital that military family members experiencing adverse mental health symptoms reach out for support and talk about what they are experiencing. Asking for help prevents mental illness from worsening and is the first step toward recovery.


California Tricare Addiction Treatment

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat offer high quality, hospital-based care for active duty service members, veterans and their families. We proudly accept TRICARE West insurance to provide affordable, evidence-based addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment. Please contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help family members of active military.