Warriors at Home

Warning Signs of a Vet in Need

Through my personal struggles with suicidal depression and my research on the subject, I have found many warning signs that I want to share with you. Please realize that this list is NOT all inclusive, and please don't use it as a type of assessment for the veteran. Any information here or given by me is not intended to be taken as professional or a replacement for a certified medical practitioner. I am just a veteran trying to help my brothers and sisters in arms and prevent veteran suicide. 


It may be hard to see the warning signs in veterans. Through our military service we have become experts at covering our emotions. That is why it's important to know these warning signs and recognize them when you see them.


-Feelings of not belonging


-Social Isolation


-Helplessness, Worthlessness, Hopelessness


-Survivors Guilt


-Feeling Trapped


-Not Taking Prescribed Medications


-Physical Pain


-Family History of Suicide


-Prior Attempts


-Rage


-Constant Negative Attitude


-Drug or Alcohol Dependency   



Some other helpful notes I've taken:


-Veterans may be abusing drugs and alcohol to cover their emotional pain


-Physical scars and pain cause stress, anxiety, and depression


-Many veterans don't seek help with their emotional pain because they feel ashamed or are afraid to ask for help. Veterans need to realize that they have not failed if they reach out and ask for help. It takes courage and the strength of a warrior to seek help.


-Fear of shame from family, friends, and community may stop a veteran from seeking help.


-PTSD is not a stress disorder, it is an emotional scar that effects the soul and personality


-Typical psychologists cant understand a veterans emotional distress because they have never had to experience the horrible things we've gone through.


It's important that we learn to recognize these warning signs. Also realize that these signs don't always mean the veteran is suicidal, but may have other emotional problems that also need to be addressed.

If someone you know is exhibiting these signs, they need to be addressed tactfully and respectfully. Do not push the veteran into something he is not comfortable with, but realize that they do need some form of assistance.