When a veteran returns from their tour, the transition from military to civilian life can often come with some detrimental side-effects. Some of these can stem from emotional challenges caused by Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
One such symptom is anger, which can manifest itself through self-limiting and self-destructive thought processes. Oftentimes, these thoughts and feeling are automatic and unconscious, seeming like a natural and everyday part of one’s life. Without knowing this, these thoughts are allowed to continue, while those who experience them remain unaware of the cost.
Anger has three main components to it. The first is resentment: bitterness from undergoing unfair judgement or treatment, frustration from feeling unappreciated or ill will directed at something that has caused a perceived insult or injury. Resentment constantly drains those who are affected by it, seeming to suck out the energy from your day-to-day life.
The second component is that of resistance. This is characterized both by insisting on acting in opposition to something and by putting up walls or cutting off contact with the things that cause anger. Resistance is a state of mind that wants things to be different but doesn’t believe that things can change. Often, this leads to loneliness, isolation and the loss of one’s friendships.
The third part of anger are the feelings of revenge. Retaliating against something that has caused a perceived insult or injury, whether to even the score or to prove that one’s way of life isn’t wrong, is a natural reaction to outside threats that seem out of your control. However, this drive often leads to the tendency for self-sabotage, the loss of energy, depression and suicide.
Those who grapple with the challenges caused by long-standing anger usually find it difficult to overcome these feelings. After all, because anger tends to be wrapped up in everyday life, it can be impossible to pinpoint its exact cause and “just get over it.”
Anger isn’t something that can just be “fixed.” To overcome it, the effort has to come from within. That said, if you are dealing with these challenges and have arrived at this website, you have already taken the first step on your road to recovery.
At FMF, our FOCUS program helps those suffering from this kind of consuming anger by giving them the tools to properly manage it. Instead of handouts, we’ll give you the ability to start taking back control of your life. You already accomplished something similar by overcoming basic training and earning your Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Making your way back to the civilian world is no different.