While serving in a combat zone, having some level of anxiety certainly makes sense. Being in the military is a dangerous career path. There is the threat of serious injury or death almost every day. The anxiety is just your body’s natural reaction to this type of elevated stress.
But what if you come home and still feel that way? Maybe you experience things like:
- Being on edge or restless
- Feeling jumpy, especially if anything unexpected happens
- Struggling with concentration
- Worrying endlessly about every little decision you make
- Clammy skin
- Having a racing heart or high blood pressure
- Feeling twitchy or trembling
- Being so stressed that you feel lightheaded, nauseated or dizzy
- Not being able to catch your breath or feeling short of breath
One veteran said that this was exactly what happened to him after he returned home from his deployment. It was nearly impossible for him to go out in crowds. He always worried, as if there may be a threat in that crowd. He also struggled with anxiety at night. Anything that made it harder to take stock of his surroundings made him feel like he was potentially unsafe and at risk.
Again, in a combat zone, this type of feeling has its place and the type of vigilance needed to stay safe can create it. Upon returning home, though, that anxiety can have a massive negative impact on your life. You may struggle to connect with people, enjoy life or even work again. Be sure you are aware of all of the options you have.