Friday, July 22, 2011

U.S. Vets: Are You Taking Care of Your Mental and Physical Health?

Here is an important guest post from U.S. Navy veteran Doug Karr:

My fellow Gulf War veterans were the first to be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This multi-symptom illness includes numerous psychological and physical complaints.

Similar to PTSD in symptoms and causes, clinical depression often affects many military veterans.

Getting help is not a sign of weakness. The government has great mental health information to help those who believe they may be affected by trauma or stress disorders.

Many veterans contract infectious or bacterial diseases such as malaria, brucellosis, West Nile virus and others. All of these diseases usually surface within a year of returning home.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, chills, fever, sweats, diarrhea, joint and muscle pain, and more. Complications from some of these diseases last for years.

Depending on where and how you served, you could have been exposed to a wide range of dangerous substances. Many of us have been exposed to toxic fumes, biological agents, chemical warfare agents, burning oil and gas, and much more.

There are many cancers that have been connected to military service. Lung cancer is one.

Another, mesothelioma, is a cancer that affects more military veterans than any other group of people.

This cancer affects the lining of the lung or the abdominal cavity. Agent Orange has been directly linked to lung cancer as well as cancer of the larynx, bronchus and trachea.

For military service men and women who have sustained concussion, it is important to ensure that the condition is fully recovered. Given that many concussions are undiagnosed, it is critical to be cautious when recovering from any head trauma.

The medical community has more recently become alert to the effects of these traumas, and word is trickling out to soldiers and veterans.

Don't let your health decline because you think nothing can be done. There are many treatments available.

I confirmed much of this information by visiting web pages of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These health and wellness pages showed me that there are many problems but also many solutions if you are willing to pay attention to your health.

You can visit the VA’s resources and you can read my veterans blog.

If you are seeking treatment, find VA resources in your local community.

For more advanced or rarer conditions, it is possible you may need to visit a separate counseling service, psychiatrist, cancer center, or hospital.

Listen to your body. Know the signs. Know when to get help!

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and her social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing works with clients to use social media to attract more business. Read her social media marketing blog.

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