Transitioning from military service to civilian life presents unique challenges for soldiers. Even the most resilient can find this adjustment stressful. Unfortunately, these challenges are also known to cause mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Keep reading to learn more about post-deployment syndrome (PDS), post-deployment depression (PDD), the signs and symptoms, risk factors, and treatments for these mental health problems.
Post Deployment Syndrome & Depression
Post-deployment syndrome (PDS) and depression can affect deployed military personnel in different ways. PDS is a psychological phenomenon that may occur after a service member returns home from active duty. Post-deployment depression (PDD) is a form of clinical depression that can manifest in veterans after returning home from active duty. Both PDS and PDD can have serious effects on a veteran’s mental health and make it quite difficult to re-adjust to civilian life after military deployment.
It is important that veterans receive the proper care and treatment for both PDS and PDD. This is why we at Mindflow Recovery strive to provide the highest quality care for veterans and service members. Our team of experienced counselors, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals are dedicated to helping those in need find their way back to emotional stability.
Signs & Symptoms
There are a variety of signs and symptoms associated with both PDS and PDD. Common symptoms of post-deployment depression include the following:
– Intense feelings of sadness
– Fatigue or decreased energy
– Feelings of isolation
– Feel overwhelmed
– Difficulty concentrating
– Nightmares or flashbacks about the deployment
– Hypervigilance (constantly looking for danger)
– Headaches or stomachaches
– Weight Gain
– Financial difficulties
– Relationship problems
– Difficulty with new routines
– Substance abuse or substance use disorders
– Anxiety disorders
– Domestic violence
Certain factors may increase the likelihood of developing post-deployment depression and PDS, such as deployment to a dangerous or chaotic environment, longer deployments, multiple deployments over a short period, combat exposure, and unresolved trauma from prior deployments. Additionally, service members who experience PTSD are at high risk for developing PDS.
Treatment & Prevention
Fortunately, there is help for those struggling with post-deployment depression and PDS. Treatment typically includes talk therapy, medication (if needed), and other forms of psychological support. Additionally, preventive measures can be taken prior to deployment to reduce the risk of developing PDS, such as getting enough rest and exercise, setting realistic expectations for the deployment, talking to loved ones about potential deployment-related issues before leaving, and seeking mental health support if needed.
It is important that those who are struggling with PDS or depression seek help so they can get back on track to living a healthy and productive life. With proper treatment and support, those who are struggling can find hope and healing. At Mindflow Recovery, we specialize in evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which can be beneficial for those suffering from PDS & PDD.
If you are a service member or know someone who is struggling with post-deployment depression or PDS, Mindflow Recovery is here to help. Our dedicated health care providers offer personalized treatment plans customized to your individual needs and goals. Contact us today for more information or to set up an appointment.
Service Members & Mental Health
Did you know that almost 20% of U.S. service members who served in Iraq or Afghanistan now exhibit post-deployment syndrome (PDS)? This alarming condition is characterized by a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, as reported by military researchers studying the issue. Learn more about this important topic and its impact on our brave men and women in uniform.
Over 400,000 U.S. troops have been affected by Post-Deployment Syndrome (PDS), according to official and conservative estimates. You may recognize terms such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, combat stress, blast injury, polytrauma, or post-concussive syndrome – all of which fall under the umbrella of PDS symptoms.
PDS impacts not only military personnel, but also military families, employers, and even healthcare providers. Despite its prevalence, this condition remains difficult to define and comprehend.
How PDS Affects Family Members
Living with a loved one who has PDS can also be challenging. Because of the wide range of symptoms, each person will require individualized support. It is important to understand that service members may feel ashamed or guilty for not being able to “get over” their traumatic experiences, so it is essential to be understanding and supportive.
Tips for Supporting a Loved One with PDS
The psychological toll of deployment can be devastating. While many service members may experience post-deployment depression (PDD) or Post-Deployment Syndrome (PDS), these conditions do not need to define their lives.
Here are some ways you can help support a friend or family member with PDS, PTSD, or depression:
1. Educate yourself about PTSD and how it affects people.
2. Be patient, understanding, and accepting of their feelings.
3. Encourage them to talk about their experiences if they are comfortable doing so.
4. Reassure them that they are not alone and that help is available.
5. Connect them with organizations and support resources if needed.
6. Create a safe, comfortable environment for them to process their feelings.
7. Support healthy lifestyle habits such as diet, exercise, and sleep hygiene.
If you or someone you know is struggling with PDS, seek help as soon as possible. There are numerous resources available to provide support and guidance, such as the National Center for PTSD and the Department of Veterans Affairs. With proper treatment, individuals can learn to cope with their symptoms and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
We Understand Mental Health Issues
At Mindflow Recovery, we understand the unique needs of service members suffering from PDS and PDD. We are committed to providing the highest quality care and support to our service member clients as they reacclimate to civilian life and start their journey toward lasting recovery.
Our experienced team of clinicians specializes in evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which can be beneficial for those suffering from PDS & PDD. We also offer holistic therapies such as yoga and mindfulness meditation to help our service member clients find peace and inner strength.
In addition, we provide family counseling to ensure that every family member in your unit is supported throughout this difficult time. There are also many other ways for service members or military families to find support, like joining a military support group in your local area.
Post-deployment Syndrome and Post-Deployment Depression are serious issues that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is struggling with these conditions, reach out to us today for more information or to set up an appointment. We are here to help you get your life back on track and reach a state of lasting recovery.
Online Therapy Services for Veterans & Service Members
At Mindflow Recovery, we offer online therapy sessions specifically designed for service members and veterans. Our clinicians specialize in evidence-based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help our clients learn how to manage their symptoms of PDS & PDD. We’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that best fits your needs.
Online therapy can be especially beneficial for those who are geographically separated from their families and friends, or who find it difficult to attend in-person sessions due to work, physical limitations, certain mental illnesses, or other commitments. With our online services, you can access quality care from the comfort of your own home or wherever else you may be located.
We understand that connecting with a therapist can be difficult, particularly when dealing with the symptoms of post-deployment depression and/or PDS. That’s why we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to get the support you need.
If you’re interested in learning more about our online therapy services for service members and veterans, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your service!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do I feel weird after deployment?
It is not uncommon to experience feelings of depression, anxiety, or difficulty adjusting after returning from deployment. These symptoms can be a result of stress and trauma experienced during service. If these feelings persist or become difficult to manage, seek professional help from a mental health provider.
Can I see a therapist online instead of in-person?
Yes! At Mindflow Recovery we offer online therapy or telehealth services. We provide personalized treatment plans customized to your individual needs and goals. Contact us today for more information or to set up an appointment.
How do you adjust to life after deployment?
Adjusting to life after deployment can be a difficult process. Taking care of yourself is important in order to cope with the stress and emotions you may experience. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and reach out for support when needed. A mental health professional like those at Mindflow Recovery can also provide additional guidance and assistance if needed.
Is PDS the same as PTSD?
No, Post-Deployment Syndrome (PDS) is not the same as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PDS is a collection of symptoms experienced by some service members after leaving the military.
What are some common coping strategies I can try at home?
There are many ways to cope with the symptoms of PDS. Making time for yourself, engaging in physical activity, and connecting with family and friends can all be helpful strategies. Additionally, talking with a mental health provider about your experience can provide additional support in managing difficult emotions.