Most people return from war, and with time and support from family and friends, readjust. But everyone is different. How do you know when things are going in the wrong direction, and when you or someone you care about needs some help?

Veterans may feel overwhelmed with their inner thoughts, and have difficulty controlling their emotions. You may feel as if you are always on alert, jumpy and easily startled. You may have difficulty concentrating at school or at work. You might start to avoid crowds, public places, even family gatherings or any situation that makes you feel anxious. You may be anxious, irritable or quick tempered with family or friends. Some people get angry or very impatient with family members over little things like decision-making. After all, when you are in combat, decisions are made quickly without discussion. It’s a big adjustment to stay calm when your teenager is arguing about using the car or your six-year old is refusing to brush his teeth before school.

Intense feelings of guilt or fear are common—but so is the opposite extreme. Veterans dealing with post traumatic stress may feel numb, and find that it’s hard to trust others, or enjoy all the people and life activities previously experienced. Traumatic stress has changed the emotional balance in many Veterans.

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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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