When a soldier came to me seeking mental health assistance, it was a moment that I would never forget. The soldier had experienced traumatic events and had an older brother who was struggling with PTSD. The family was going through significant emotional upheaval, and the parents were understandably concerned about their other son being exposed to similar traumatic events.
I worked closely with the family to provide them with information about the phenomenon of PTSD and the tools they could use to help themselves and their son. It was evident that we did not know enough about treating combat stress and trauma, as research is scarce in this area. The soldier himself also needed assistance, and after a few days of talking with me, he was in a much better condition, which was a huge relief for everyone involved.
The transition between working with soldiers in the army and returning to other commitments at the hospital has been challenging for me recently. I am also preparing for a final test of my internship in psychiatry, which has been compressed into a very short period due to reserve duty. Despite these challenges, I believe that there is room for more open discussions about the complex situations soldiers go through and an increased supply of mental health services.
It’s important to remember that when a person is recruited into the reserves, their entire family undergoes a significant transition that can affect their mental well-being. This concern for mental health among soldiers’ commanders and peers is essential but should not detract from their fighting spirit or operational activity.
In conclusion, I believe that it is crucial for society to offer acceptance, containment, and assistance to soldiers experiencing mental distress resulting from their service. We need to increase awareness of trauma as a national issue and make sure that all individuals who continue to suffer from mental disorders receive adequate support and care regardless of whether they are serving or not serving in the military.