Can the Stress of Military Life Lead to Addiction?
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To serve in the military is one of the most selfless things one can do. It is a major sacrifice for your country that requires great bravery and resilience. However, military life can also be a very stressful and mentally taxing experience as well. It affects not only the person who is serving in the military but all the family members and friends they leave back home. 

The stresses of military life can, over time, lead to problems like anxiety and depression. Some people may turn to substance misuse to deal with this stress and pain. This can lead to addiction and other problems. The Ho Tai Way offers support for military women who are or have been on active duty, as well as women who are married to military servicemen. 

How Can the Stress of Military Life Affect Military Personnel?

There are so many challenges that those in the military must face when they leave for duty, when serving, and even when returning home. When military personnel leave for duty, they are forced to say goodbye to their friends and family for an extended period of time. They might not know how long they’ll be gone or when they’re going to be able to see their loved ones again. In some cases, they might not even know if they will be returning home at all. 

While on duty, these individuals have to be brave and overcome challenges on a daily basis without the comfort of their partner at their side. They face grueling physical conditions and enormous pressure and are also expected to be ready for combat at all times. These individuals are required to be tough and often have to put their own emotions aside to handle the responsibilities they face. 

During combat, these individuals may have to see horrific scenes that will haunt them later in life. They may lose close friends during war and also witness deaths. 

Further, when they return home, they may battle things like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. They may also experience changes in mood or personality. Some may have trouble trying to readjust to their old lives. They may turn to substance misuse as a way to cope with what they’re struggling with. 

How Can the Stress of Military Life Affect Military Family Members?

While military life can certainly affect those who are or have been on active duty, the effect it can also have on family members cannot be minimized. Parents must say goodbye to their children, not knowing when they will see them again and not being able to protect them. Children of members of the military must say goodbye to one of their parents knowing they will be gone for an extended period of time. This can be very confusing and emotional, especially for younger children who don’t understand what is happening.

The spouses of military personnel must also be considered. They have to be away from their partners for long periods of time and don’t have the certainity of when they are going to see them again. These individuals must face the stresses and responsibilities of day-to-day life on their own. 

Further, some of the individuals who are married to military personnel on active duty are mothers. They have to go through things like pregnancies, births, and the early stages of motherhood without the support of their spouse. Some of them may have multiple children and have to shoulder things like transportation, meals, helping with homework, and everything else that comes with parenthood, all by themselves.

When their partner finally does end up coming home, the spouse may not seem like themselves anymore. They may struggle with depression or PTSD. The stress and the emotional toll all of this can take can cause some military family members to turn to substance misuse to cope. 

How Can Someone Struggling With Substance Misuse Seek Help?

Someone who is struggling with substance misuse should not be afraid to seek help. It is not something to be ashamed of and it doesn’t mean that they aren’t strong. In fact, it is very courageous for someone to admit they have a problem and want to put in the work to better themselves. 

At The Ho Tai Way, we offer a women-only treatment environment that caters to military women for several reasons. Many women who struggle with substance misuse have experienced trauma in the past. They may be coming from a situation of domestic violence or abuse. Some women may have even experienced harassment or other types of abuse while on active duty. These individuals deserve a place where they can recover and begin to heal without being made to feel uncomfortable.

If you are in the military or have a close family member who is, you know how difficult and emotionally taxing it can be. You might feel like you have to put your emotions aside and be tough for other people in your life. However, it’s impossible to be tough all the time. It is okay to be vulnerable and ask for help if you need it. Our team at The Ho Tai Way has helped many people affected by the military take back their lives from substance misuse. Reach out to us at (714) 581-3974 today to learn more about the various types of services we provide. We are happy to answer any of the questions you may have.