Death On A Bad Day
For some veterans I’ve spoken with, dealing with death and depression is a daily struggle. For these veterans, everyday is a bad day to some extent. Managing to get out of bed is considered a major accomplishment. Keeping themselves clean is another problem. Some have reportedly gone many days without bathing. Others find comfort in taking multiple showers throughout the day in an effort to rid themselves of pain and shame.
Maintaining employment is big problem under these conditions. When a veteran can’t get out of bed and won’t answer their phone, they don’t go to work either. Employers try to be understanding in many cases but the end result is usually termination. Family sometimes attempt to intervene but are limited by laws and access to the veteran. Unless a threat is present, there isn’t much that can be done by law in many situations.
I’m only one old veteran who isn’t qualified to treat or diagnose anybody. As stated in another article, I’ve got my own issues with death. Feelings of guilt, loss of appetite, hopelessness and even suicide can be the unfortunate end result. Bad days can be very bad for veterans that can’t see a way to get beyond the grief. Death and the grief it can bring have made some people cry in their sleep and others wake up crying. After the downward slide begins, sometimes they stop feeling like any day is a good day.
Turning to illegal drugs and alcohol happens but it’s not the best option in my opinion. Compounding one problem with another one usually won’t end well. The better option is to seek professional help from people who are licensed and experienced. There’s no shame in asking for help. Serving in the military doesn’t make us too tough to accept professional help.