Doctor offers veterans from Afghanistan advice about dealing with stress

Roanoke Valley News

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — President Joe Biden told Americans still trapped in Afghanistan today that he will get them home safely.

Critics say the administration was not prepared for how quickly the Taliban was able to take control of the country.

According to the Pentagon, almost 800,000 service members were deployed to Afghanistan during the 20-year mission there. More than 2,300 lost their lives.

Watching the country fall so quickly has left many veterans feeling like their sacrifices were in vain.

Dr. Dana Holohan, Director for The Center for Traumatic Stress with the Salem V.A., says she wants veterans who are struggling to know there is help out there.

“Their service was valued and is valued by all of us, and there are people that are so thankful for all that they’ve done to contribute for our country. It’s okay to get help when they need it,” said Holohan.

Holohan offered the following advice for those struggling:

  • Engage in Positive Activities. Try to engage in positive, healthy, or meaningful activities, even if they are small, simple actions. Doing things that are rewarding, meaningful, or enjoyable, even if you don’t feel like it, can make you feel better.
  • Stay Connected. Spend time with people who give you a sense of security, calm, or happiness, or those who best understand what you are going through.
  • Practice Good Self Care. Look for positive coping strategies that help you manage your emotions. Listening to music, exercising, practicing breathing routines, spending time in nature or with animals, journaling, or reading inspirational text are some simple ways to help manage overwhelming or distressing emotions.
  • Stick to Your Routines. It can be helpful to stick to a schedule for when you sleep, eat, work, and do other day-to-day activities.
  • Limit Media Exposure. Limit how much news you take in if media coverage is increasing your distress.

You can also visit the following links for more help for veterans dealing with stress:

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