Military Deployment Stress
Has Military Deployment Stress Affected Your Life, Happiness or Personal Relationships?
Being deployed or having a loved one deployed are part of normal military life. Service members are expected to respond (sometimes with little notice) to the needs of the Military. No other career places such a demanding weight on the shoulders of not only the individual but their family as well.
Deployment stress is part of being in the military. The stress comes in many forms before, during and after the deployment. When the deployment approaches many have feelings of anxiety, stress, resentfulness and even depression. Have you felt any of these? As the time of deployment nears, have you sometimes felt detached or withdrawn? Do your children have trouble processing the upcoming deployment? After the service member has been deployed do you feel overwhelmed with life’s challenges, lonely or depressed? When the family is finally reunited it is often a joyful occasion; however the deployment can have lingering effects, especially on your relationship.
Managing Pre-Deployment Stress
Chupik Counseling has been helping service members and their loved ones prepare for deployments for over 15 years. Our therapists live in the area and work with the military on a daily basis; we are civilians but we know what military life can be like. At our off-post office in Killeen, Texas we work almost entirely with military members and their families.
We have seen many families struggle with the reality of an upcoming deployment; and we are experienced at helping them to prepare. No one can make a deployment easy. But, pre-deployment counseling has been shown to greatly increase your family’s ability to cope with the trying times ahead. We have found that open and honest communication between family members, with the guidance of a therapist, can reduce feelings of resentment, depression, anxiety and stress. Many look at pre-deployment counseling as a preventative measure, you are working on problems and issues as they arise and being proactive in making sure your family is prepared for deployment. Pre-deployment counseling can continue into deployment for the family members, and then into reunification after the deployment is over.
During the Deployment
During deployment, we can continue to meet with family to ensure they are receiving support. This does not have to be a lonely and overwhelming time for you. It is helpful for most to have a non-biased, non-judgmental professional to talk to. Feelings and emotions can run high during deployment and having experienced therapist to talk to is a great way to process those feelings.
After the Deployment
It would seem that reunification after a deployment would only be a joyous time. There is great joy in a loved one returning home, but there can also be some complications. The military member has been though a lot, even if it doesn’t seem so on the surface, and processing those experiences is often difficult. The loved ones at home have also been through a lot; they have been forced to live differently than they did when their military service members was at home. Reunification can take some getting used to and it is common to have some tension and strife in your personal life and your relationships. A therapist at Chupik Counseling can help you process those feelings.
For The Military Member
In an anonymous survey conducted by the Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control, more than 17 percent of military personnel needed additional services or screened positive for post-deployment stress, PTSD and/or depression. Military personnel are part of an elite group, with less than one percent of the population serving in either active duty or reserve roles. As a result of that service, many individuals experience trauma or struggle with post-deployment stress upon returning home. But, military members and leaders often believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness, believing they should be able to solve their own problems. The truth is that the mental and physical symptoms of post-deployment stress and PTSD are natural responses when returning from military deployment. However, many deployed service men and women do not get the help they need. You may go from the combat theater on Tuesday to a Walmart on Friday, leaving little time to work through trauma and post-deployment stress.
If you’re struggling with trauma, depression or post-deployment stress, you are not alone. And, it’s important to recognize that these challenges don’t define who you are or what you are capable of. If a $100 bill is crumpled up or dropped in the mud, its value hasn’t changed. With counseling for military deployment stress, you can understand why you are struggling and develop skills to recognize and cope with memories, stressors and triggers.
You Can Learn Skills To Manage And Reduce Military Deployment Stress
Deployment stress counseling can help you develop coping strategies, relaxation techniques and stress management skills. At Chupik Counseling we take a solution-focused approach to treating military deployment stress, tailoring our strategies to meet your particular situation and treatment goals. Through sessions, you can learn to identify triggers, acquire resources and develop practical coping skills to manage difficult emotions and distressing symptoms.
We believe that you are the expert on your situation, and your therapist will help you identify and define the challenges, goals and obstacles in your life. When you are able to recognize your own preconceived notions and expectations about how you should manage stress, you can increase your awareness and take steps to develop more effective strategies. While in the military you were responsible for the wellbeing of the soldier next to you as well as yourself. That instinct can be a powerful tool to help you overcome doubt and drive you toward recovery.
The therapists at Chupik Counseling have extensive professional experience helping current and former military personnel and their families manage deployment stress and/or reintegrate into civilian society. We understand the challenges that military members and their families face. With the right guidance and support, you can recognize triggers, manage symptoms and develop strategies to reduced stress in your life.
But, you may still have questions about counseling for military deployment stress…
I am concerned that I cannot get an authorization to use Tricare off-base.
If you are a dependent we can create the authorization for you. There is no need for a referral from a military doctor. If you are an active duty service member, you will need to get a referral from an on-post doc or the R&R center to see one of our therapists. In some cases we may be able to see an active duty service member using a special grant that requires no insurance. If you cannot obtain an authorization/referral on post call our office, we are happy to help you get in using the special grant at no cost to you.
I’m supposed to be a strong soldier. I can’t show weakness and ask for help.
Being a soldier doesn’t mean that you stop being human, and it is okay to acknowledge the desire or need for help and support. The challenges and symptoms you are experiencing are natural responses to the stress of military deployment. Counseling for deployment stress doesn’t mean that you are broken or weak, only that you wish to understand why you are struggling and develop skills to cope with stressors. Some of the strongest and most courageous soldiers in the military have been wise enough to seek help to overcome their issues.
I can’t afford therapy right now.
If you are currently in the military, your military insurance will pay for deployment stress counseling for you and your family. We make every effort to make therapy affordable and accessible, and we can help find other funding resources as needed in order to ensure you receive the support you need at little or no cost.
You Can Recover From Post-Deployment Stress
If you are ready to begin recovering from military deployment stress, or if you have additional questions about working with the therapists at Chupik Counseling, we invite you to contact us.