7 Health Issues Likely To Be Experienced by a War Veteran

Even when you have had the best military training available it is almost impossible to prepare your mind and body for the violence and traumatic experiences you might endure during active service.

The threat of PTSD and other health issues is very real, such as veterans experiencing shell shock and still trying to process that experience many years later.

Here is a look at some of the main health issues that a veteran might experience.

Mental health challenges

ptsd-veterans-warWearing the physical scars of war is just one side of the story. Many veterans can suffer significant mental health challenges long after they retire from active duty.

The very real threat of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been well publicized in recent years. It is estimated that PTSD affects as many as 15% of veterans who fought in the Iraq war, for instance.

Depression and alcohol abuse are other mental health issues faced by a percentage of veterans.

Musculoskeletal injuries are common

Many veterans have to contend with physical pain on a daily basis as a result of the action they have seen.

Problems with back, neck, knee, and shoulder injuries and pain continue to plague veterans of the Iraq war, for instance, which was two decades ago.

The threat of infectious diseases

A routine consequence of reporting for duty would be that all military personnel have to have routine vaccinations before deployment.

Despite these precautions, it has been found that veterans have succumbed to a number of diseases and infections that they were exposed to during service. These include bacterial infections that were not protected against as vaccinations did not cover these threats.

Exposure to chemicals

A very real threat faced by modern soldiers is exposure to chemicals. Nerve agents such as Sarin can have devastating health consequences and can create long-term health damage such as an enlarged heart.

Excessive noise exposure

Hearing loss and significant impairment is a common consequence of facing battle conditions.

The impact of regular gunfire, aircraft, and other noise threats has created conditions where veterans suffer hearing loss and vibration exposure that causes back pain and numbness.

Groin injuries are more common than you think

Urologic injuries such as damage to the kidneys and bladder tend to be treated after life-threatening injuries have been dealt with. This often means that complications have time to set in and result in more complex surgery at a later date.

Brain injuries

Specifically, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) comes from receiving a blow to the head. This can have serious consequences and create long-term cognitive issues.

Some of the challenges faced by veterans who suffer from TBI include anxiety and depression, as well as language problems and a poor attention span.

The range of physical and mental health problems facing veterans is quite extensive. There is a wider recognition of these issues than ever before and a range of treatments and therapies are available to combat the symptoms.

The price of active duty can be very high for a lot of veterans.


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Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Marie Benz