Thursday, October 11, 2012

Military Health Risks And How It Can Affect Family Members

My first guest blogger!  This is for my fellow military spouses.  Emily Walsh from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is sharing a great piece on some of the long term health risks that affect military members and their families.  

Many people have served their country. Those in the military have gone on to live ordinary lives with their families. There are some health risks that are often involved with being in the military. The stress of dealing with what they had to deal with can lead to PTSD and various other health problems – which can all take a toll on the family.

PTSD, commonly referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is very common among those who have served in the military. It can lead to angry outbursts, pulling away from family members and trouble sleeping. When one member of the family is dealing with such a thing, it affects everyone in the house.

When a family member is experiencing high levels of stress or isn’t getting enough sleep, it can lead to poor performance on the job as well as problems within the house. One of the best measures is to use a paid sick day as a mental health day. This will allow the family member the chance to relax and de-stress from what is going on.

There is no real cure to PTSD. Therapy can be made available to veterans, which can help. Sometimes people just need someone they can talk to – a sympathetic ear. When there are sick days and flexibility in a work schedule to deal with such things, it can be better for the family member dealing with the military health risks as well as all of the other family members.

What starts out as a mental health issue can quickly translate into physical problems as well. When the body starts to experience fatigue, it can lead to getting sick easier as well as neck and back aches. PTSD isn’t the only health risk in the military, however.

Many in the military have been exposed to various chemicals. This includes Agent Orange and even asbestos. Various illnesses have resulted from these exposures. Diabetes, mesothelioma (What is mesothelioma?) and more are now being discovered in veterans who served their country either in the US or overseas. Families need to be understanding to these health problems and make sure that the veteran gets the necessary health attention.

For those who are out of the military and now dealing on their own, it’s important to find a job with some flexibility. Paid days off can go a long way to maintaining a strong level of health. When there are no paid days off, it can lead to not getting the right level of health care. When this happens, it can increase tension at home. Children are not always understanding to why there is anger or stress in the household.

Military families need to look out for each other. There are various health risks involved with being in the military but it’s how they deal with it that matters. Veteran’s assistance and various other things are out there. When the family is sympathetic and there is flexibility in the workplace to get assistance as needed, it yields the best results

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