One moment that will forever be etched in my memory is the time I cared for a soldier who had experienced traumatic events. The soldier’s older brother was dealing with PTSD, and the family was going through a significant emotional upheaval. The parents were understandably concerned about another son being exposed to traumatic experiences, and I spoke with them numerous times to address their concerns. I formed a deep bond with the family, and their experience touched my heart deeply.
In such situations, we use a method of psychoeducation to inform families about the phenomenon of PTSD and the tools they can use to help themselves and their loved ones. The soldier himself also required assistance, and after several days of talking with me, he was in a much better state of mind, which was a huge relief for everyone involved.
Currently, one of the biggest challenges I face is transitioning from working intensely with soldiers in the army to returning to other responsibilities at the hospital. Additionally, I am preparing for a final test of my internship in psychiatry that has been condensed into an extremely short period due to reserve duty obligations.
It has become clear that we do not know enough about treating combat stress and trauma. While our experience in providing support to individuals who have experienced long-term trauma is greater than our knowledge of providing first aid in such cases, there is still scarce research on this topic. If I could improve anything about mental health care for soldiers today, it would be to ensure that access to mental health treatments remains consistent for both active-duty soldiers and reservists who are discharged and require ongoing care.
After spending so much time fighting, I have come to realize that there is a genuine concern among commanders and peers about the mental health of soldiers. However, this does not detract from their fighting spirit or operational effectiveness in any way. In fact, it shows how important it is for leaders to prioritize their soldiers’ well-being while still maintaining mission readiness.
I believe that there is room for more open discussions about the complex situations soldiers face during deployment and more resources dedicated towards providing mental health services to those who need them most. It’s important to remember that when someone joins the reserves, their entire family goes through a significant transition that can affect their mental well-being as well as their loved ones’. In conclusion, trauma is not just an individual problem but affects many people involved in it directly or indirectly.”