Depression occurs in veterans at a much higher rate than in the general population. It’s estimated that up to 14% of service members experience depression after deployment. However, many veterans have a problem proving a service connection to their depression.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
- Deterioration of relationships, including spouse and children
- Irritability, sadness, emotional outbursts, or emotional numbness
- Sleep disruption – sleeping too much or too little
- Body aches
- Major changes in appetite, causing weight loss or gain
- Inability to function like you used to
- Distraction, memory problems, inability to think clearly
- Suicidal thoughts or violent behavior
Many soldiers do not seek treatment for depression, since being a soldier is associated with being strong, tough, and able to push through pain. Some veterans cope by abusing alcohol or drugs rather than seeking help.
The physical effects of depression
Depression can be caused by existing physical conditions. Chronic pain, for instance, frequently leads to depression, and the worse the pain, the worse the depression can be. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause many issues, including depression. Any debilitating or deteriorating illness, such as ALS, Parkinson’s, or cancer, can lead to depression.
Conversely, depression can cause physical illness. There are studies that suggest that negative thought patterns are connected with increased risk of illness or slower recovery from illness or injury. Possible physical effects of depression include:
- Back, joint, or muscle pain
- Chest pain, heart arrhythmia
- Digestive problems: irritable bowel, ulcers, diarrhea
- Headaches, migraines
- Vision problems, tinnitus
How to get a disability rating for depression
A good veteran’s attorney will know the many connections between depression and other illnesses, injuries, and conditions. As veterans ourselves, we also have a first-hand understanding of how military service affects soldiers. We are committed to getting you the help and the compensation you need for your service-related depression and any other service-related conditions.
Your depression may be directly connected to your service, or it may be a secondary cause for a condition you’ve already received a disability rating for. Your disability rating for depression could be 100%, 70%, 50%, 30%, or 10%. If you have been denied a disability rating for depression, or if you believe your rating is too low, we will thoroughly investigate your case, digging into your experiences during service, your health, and any possible events, duties, or conditions that could have caused your depression. Our experience as disabled veterans drives us to leave no stone unturned in helping you receive the compensation you deserve for your service to our country. Call us today, from anywhere in the world, to see how we can serve you.