Any of these issues can cause a preexisting PTSD condition. It is extremely difficult for the Military to screen for this while enlisting personal.
Add the traumatic events that a soldier is exposed to in a war zone and you end up with layers of problems that need to be addressed and dealt with.
You do not need preexisting PTSD to have trust issues but it can exacerbate the situation.
Trust issues with battlefield PTSD can be as obvious as simply feeling the need to sit with your back to the wall while in a public place.
Trust issues can be much less apparent as in an inability to make or keep friends. Many Vets deal with a number of failed marriages & relationships. Anger and trust issues are a large factor in this ongoing problem that Vets have to deal with.
Other trust issues can be authority figures at work or fearing agencies like the police to a fear of government bureaucrats that sent soldiers into harm’s way. For that matter a fear of any government agency including the VA can cause stress.
If a soldier with PTSD was physically, mentally or sexually abused as a child their level of trust is in the cellar. Thoughts of suicide and acts of cutting can be directly linked to trust issues. Many Vets will hide from these problems with drugs & alcohol or staying indoors not willing to go out in public.
The most important thing that you must do is to go to your closest VA and start the process of recovery. Do not try to do it on your own. At worst you will fail. At best you will add many years to your recovery.
Even with help you can’t expect to lose your trust issues with a magic pill or some miraculous Doctor. This is a process. Joining a Vets Group and talking with those that are going through the types of problems that you are is a giant step. It is a step to be proud of. It is you saying I am ready to get my life back together.
Remember: Vets Help Vets! You are not alone! It may seem that your problems are exclusive to you but that is not the case.
Hanging your hat on steps like the above is important to your recovery. Listing them and using them is like a balance beam. When you are mad at yourself for something you have done remember that you also have some good steps in your arsenal to stack on the other end of the teeter-totter. You have to learn how to have respect & trust for yourself. You can’t possibly get over trust issues and PTSD issues in a day. By making small steps you can learn to trust in yourself. If you have a relapse of some sort learn to understand that “IT ISN’T THE END OF THE WORLD”.
Learn to have a Relapse Prevention Plan. If you have a relapse try to not allow it to go to the next day. Have a list of people you can trust to help you get right back on track. You are not starting from scratch. The more steps you have made the more tools you will have to balance out your life.
You did not cause your PTSD and trust issues. Still you need to be the most active part of your recovery. Don’t sit back and wait for help to pop up at your front door and don’t wait for it to go away on its own.
Important Small Steps to get started:
Go to the VA - ASK FOR HELP!
Check out your Local Vet Center: If you have served in any combat zone, Vet Centers are in your community to help you and your family with readjustment counseling and outreach services.
- Join a Therapy Group!!! The PTSD & Substance Abuse Program at the VA is excellent.
- Talk To Other Vets: Don’t invent the wheel. It is easy to get help from vets that have already opened the door for you.
- Open a Claim: If you are having or think you are having PTSD issues you should open a claim for benefits ASAP. Getting financial help for your problems will help remove stress.
These are a few of the small steps that will create a giant leap in your recovery. Joining a therapy group like the VA’s PTSD & Substance Abuse program is essential to your continued success.
Living a safe and stress free life takes continued work and repetition of things like grounding techniques until they become second nature. With repetition you can eliminate anger & road rage issues that plague PTSD sufferers. Once you control, or better yet illuminate drugs and alcohol from your life you will be able to trust yourself again. The next step is learning to trust others.
Some people, not all, deserve our trust. Being able to open up enough to find & keep the right ones is a blessing. After what many of us have been through, that caused our PTSD, it is fair & smart to not give our trust lightly. By learning how to be honest with yourself it is easier to spot the honesty in others.