Trauma in The Military

There are six different branches of the military, each with their own specific skill set and role. For additional reading on the breakdown of roles and the structure or personnel click here. These branches are independent of one another yet can work very closely when risks to our nation arise. Despite the different branches of the military, personnel in each branch are susceptible to experiencing trauma.

What is Military Trauma?

Trauma can occur in many different forms throughout the military. Not all experienced trauma reaches Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) threshold; however, trauma in general can still be negatively impactful. Some common and not so common forms of trauma that occur in the military may include:

  • Trauma from combat
  • Sexual abuse
  • Losing a friend unexpectedly
  • Not being around for a loss in one’s family
  • Humiliation during basic training
  • Guilt and shame related to poor performance
  • Accidently injury

All of these scenarios can leave a person’s nervous system stuck in a fight/flight or freeze/collapse state. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can be a great way to heal trauma responses.

Effects of Military Trauma

Any person in the military can experience a traumatic event. Therapy can help those heal from trauma.

After someone experiences trauma, their nervous system can become dysregulated. The nervous system’s constant internal and external assessment of risk/harm increases a person’s overall fatigue level. This puts the person in hyperalert mood which can then negatively impact concentration, functioning, quality of sleep, and interpersonal relationships. A person’s work and, overall, quality of life slowly begins to erode.

One of the hardest pieces of experiencing trauma in the military is the stigma associated with asking for help. This leads to people ‘white knuckling’ their symptoms and lives for years or decades down the road. This can lead to job loss, divorce, loss of connection with children, substance use to help manage trauma symptoms, or suicide.

Post-Traumatic Growth

A topic few people discuss, what happens after people heal from past traumas? This is called post-traumatic growth. Often, after someone heals from a past trauma, they turn their past into fuel to change their life as well as those around them. Essentially, the trauma becomes a platform that propels a person to new levels in life. Therapy can help facilitate this process.

A Local Trauma Therapist in Denver

Research shows that those who engage in trauma therapy can heal. Looking to find a therapist that is trained in trauma therapy and understands the dynamics of the military? Be sure to do both your background research and a free consultation call before beginning therapy. This way, you can ensure the trauma therapist is a good fit for you and you have a natural connection with the therapist.

EMDR Therapy Near You

Revitalize Mental Health has provided to services to Veterans who have experienced trauma and is also trained in EMDR therapy to address trauma symptoms. Allow EMDR therapy to help your body and nervous system heal from past traumas so you can live the life you desire. Call now, 720.295.6703, or submit a form here to begin your healing process.

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