Conditions We Treat
The Emory Healthcare Veterans Program specializes in treating veterans who are dealing with the mental and emotional after-effects of combat. We offer comprehensive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), depression and anxiety.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can result from a traumatic or life-threatening event such as military combat. Thousands of soldiers and veterans struggle with PTSD. Often, they resist seeking help because of negative ideas about PTSD or the fear of what others might think. PTSD can affect personal relationships and even destroy families.
Symptoms of PTSD can start immediately after the trauma or much later. You may feel haunted by memories and have a range of symptoms that can include:
- Nightmares and trouble sleeping
- Flashbacks and intrusive thoughts or images
- Strong startle reactions
- Problems with anger
- Constantly feeling overly alert or on edge
- Avoidance of crowds, social gatherings, driving in traffic or other potential triggers
- Anxiety or panic attacks
TBI is an injury to the brain caused by outside trauma to the head. The trauma could be caused by a blow to the head, fall, motor vehicle accident or blast of an explosion.
TBI can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on how long the person is unconscious, confused, and unable to form new memories following the injury. Most TBIs are considered mild. A mild TBI is also referred to as a concussion.
Diagnosing TBI can be challenging. Symptoms can be similar to other mental or physical conditions, and may be attributed to the stress of combat. It’s important to have a health care team that is familiar with TBI. Symptoms can include:
- Sensitivity to light or sounds or blurry vision.
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating
- Irritability and moodiness
Symptoms of mild TBI usually resolve within a few weeks. However, some people have longer-lasting symptoms, called “prolonged post-concussion syndrome.” PTSD, depression, chronic pain, poor sleep or the effects of some medicines can complicate TBI.
Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
Military sexual trauma refers to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment during military service. It includes any sexual activity in which you were involved against your will, and can happen to men and women. You may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing, or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex). You may have been unable to consent because you were intoxicated or incapacitated. Or, you may have been physically forced.
Military sexual trauma also includes:
- Unwanted sexual touching or grabbing
- Threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities
- Threatening or unwelcome sexual advances
If you’ve had any of these experiences, you may be troubled by haunting memories and nightmares, anxiety or depression.
Everyone has some level of anxiety, but if you’ve served in combat, you may have anxiety that interferes with your daily life. You may have symptoms that include:
- Excessive and uncontrollable worry about relationships, work performance, safety or other concerns
- Fear of certain places or activities, such as driving or flying
- Panic attacks
- Upset stomach or digestion problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Problems concentrating
Depression is more than just feeling sad or blue for a while. Clinical depression includes emotional, cognitive (thinking), physical and behavioral symptoms that last longer than two weeks.
You may have a wide range of symptoms that can include:
- Sadness and crying
- Decreased enjoyment and interest
- Feeling worthless, helpless and hopeless
- Suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts
- Trouble remembering or concentrating
- Decreased energy
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Wanting to be alone
- Being less active or productive then usual
How Can We Help You Today?
Need help? We will be delighted to assist you today, so please call us at 404-778-7777. We look forward to hearing from you.