When U.S. combat veterans finish their tours of duty and return stateside, many of them are simply unable to leave the war behind.
The experience of being placed in extremely stressful situations has led to increased rates of PTSD among veterans—this is true for both those who have and have not been in actual combat.
Symptoms of PTSD include irritability, anxiety, depression, mistrust, nightmares, and flashbacks. When veterans seek treatment for their symptoms, doctors may offer them a variety of antidepressants and antianxiety medications, which all have serious side effects and the potential for abuse. However, that’s only when they even seek treatment, as there is a stigma among male veterans that admitting to experiencing PTSD shows weakness. This can unfortunately lead some veterans to forgo treatment altogether. While there is still debate about whether PTSD increases the risk of suicide in veterans, a study by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that about 20 veterans die by suicide per day.
Research has shown that marijuana may help treat PTSD symptoms, and may also serve as a complement or alternative to powerful prescription drugs. Check out the MERRY JANE News report above to learn more about how certain cannabis strains may help treat symptoms like insomnia and mood swings, and the roadblocks that keep veterans from getting easy access to marijuana as medicine.
Vets should talk to their doctor before making any drastic changes in their treatment, and counseling, yoga, and meditation may offer relief for symptoms as well.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255