Helping Veterans Cope with PTSD at Christmas

I hope this message finds you and yours in the best of Christmas spirits.  Christmas is just around the corner and supposed to be a time of celebration.  It’s a time to focus on food, family, and spiritual renewal that will be part of memories for years to come.  Most people do seem to be in an extra good mood this time of year with the anticipation of gift-giving and spending time with family.  But, what about those who are not?

While many of us look forward to the holiday season, some of our veterans find this time of year particularly difficult.  I’m talking about veterans who must cope with PTSD, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

Many of the veterans we represent suffer from PTSD, depression, or anxiety.  In talking with them, I have come to understand some of the difficult issues these veterans face on a daily basis.  This time of year only magnifies those problems.  What is a fun but loud and crowded Christmas party to some of us can be a terrifying experience to someone who suffers with mental health issues. What for you seems like an opportunity to get together with old friends can be hard for a veteran suffering from survivor’s guilt and being reminded of his fallen brothers.

How You Can Help A Veteran Cope with PTSD During the Holidays

If you have a friend or loved one who is one of these veterans, there are a few things you can do to make social events as non-threatening as possible.

First, understand that each veteran has his own unique set of triggers that can cause him distress.  Knowing what those are can help avoid a stressful situation.

Second, most veterans develop their own ways to cope with PTSD when symptoms increase.  Some time alone may be required.  Also, don’t pressure the veteran into a social situation that is not comfortable for him.  Sometimes, the best coping mechanism is to leave a stressful situation.  No one should be offended if the veteran cannot attend or stay very long.

cope with PTSD
The holiday season can be harder than usual.

You can help the veteran prepare himself in advance by letting him know who will be there and how many will attend.  Sometimes holiday parties can bring family tensions to the surface, so let the veteran know in advance if there will be anyone there that he may not want to encounter.  Those who suffer from PTSD often struggle with impulse control and anger outbursts, so others need to understand that and avoid bringing up any subjects that could cause problems.

In each of the four weeks leading up to Christmas, my church is focusing on four gifts of this season: peace, joy, love, and hope.  It struck me how these can also be gifts we give to our veterans with mental health issues.

Help create a peaceful environment as best you can for your veteran.  Search for ways to bring a little joy to their lives that are otherwise filled with some very dark days. You can’t always make their situations better, but you can let them know that you love them and are there for them.  Sometimes that may mean talking with them through issues, or it may mean just spending time with them without words.  If we can do these things, we can give them a little hope as they continue their battle with mental health.

It goes without saying that our veterans can struggle with these issues.  But, being the friend or loved one of a veteran suffering from PTSD, depression, or anxiety is not easy.  I know the toll these issues take on the entire family.  Please consider these ideas so you can support a veteran’s family and become part of a trusted support network for a veteran with mental health issues.

Let Us Help As Well

It is hard to cope with PTSD any time of year.  The reality is that sometimes part of the struggle these veterans face is the financial impact of the mental health issues.  If you are interested in how we can help address those issues, please read some of the articles on our website about proving a PTSD claim and getting the VA disability rating and benefits you deserve.  We’d be glad to discuss any questions you have.

I wish each of you a holiday season filled with cheer that you can share with those around you.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

I saw Travis on some YouTube videos. It was the way he worded things, I just felt compelled to contact them about my situation, he seemed trustworthy. Travis told me he thought he could help me. I was hesitant, but proceeded. The claim process was long, but my claim was granted. They are organized and punctual. Jessica and Travis are a strong team. I feel the Lord led me to Perkins & Studdard. I consider Travis an advocate and friend. ThanksCorby Reese
It has been a pleasure working with Jason and firm, very knowledgeable and professional, He did awesome job to get settlement that I need for my workmen comp case which was fair in my case, cause the insurance company was trying low ball me and not give me nothing but Jason fix that ….I truly recommend Perkins&studdard any workmen comp case that you have and also want thank Tina also for helping me along this process Thank you Perkins&studdardjahbari swint
Thank you Jason and Tina for everything you've done. Much appreciated. Great law firm! Great results!! Thank you!!! (Austin and Valerie)Valerie Mellinger
Travis and the team working on my VA claim are awesome. I’m happy with their integrity and diligence on working on my claim.Chris “Greybeard” Mullennix
I can't express enough how great it was to work with Perkins Studdard. They are extremely knowledgeable, professional and keep you aware of everything happening with your case. Very friendly from the front office to Mr. Perkins. I would HIGHLY recommend Perkins Studdard!James Strickland
I recommend Travis for an Veteran that has been dealing with constant denial with claims. He also , cover cost for my nexus letter when I ran into financial troubles , that helped me win my case.edwin Cook
I highly recommend Travis Studdard to represent anyone looking to help with VA claims. The VA is very difficult to deal with when attempting to get benefits from service connected injuries, at least that's my experience. Travis and his team knows the VA system and the legal procedures to help you get what you deserve. Travis was kind and passionate with me throughout this process and therefore, I highly recommend this law firm to represent DAV's.Terry Hembree
Such an awesome team. They spoke to me like a person and helped me through every decision with knowledge.Kevin Collett
Highly recommend this firm. Did exactly what they said they were going to and fairly timely. The VA is sometimes extremely difficult to navigate but this took all the leg work away from me and got me the result I thought was fair.Andrew Boone
Amazing staff, very informed along with excellent communication. Within just a few weeks of work, Mr Studdard was able to make things happen that normally take years! Highly recommendJacob Sylvester

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