Military Veterans

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury

When a person witnesses traumatic or stressful events, a delayed response can result. Experiencing or confronting traumatic events can result in feelings or fear helplessness or terror. The military, police officers, and first responders are all subject to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in their daily jobs. Ordinary people who experience or confront stressful events such as survivors of hurricanes, violence, child abuse, and any type of traumatic loss can suffer recurrent, involuntary, intrusive memories of the event. Distressing dreams can haunt the victim. Flashbacks, hallucinations and other extreme dissociative reactions can continue to haunt the victim long after their traumatic origins cease.

PTSD Survivors

Sometimes the victim tries to avoid events associated with the trauma. Other negative reactions include memory loss, negative emotional state, diminished interest in significant life activities and suppression of positive emotions such as happiness, satisfaction, and loving feelings. Sometimes the PTSD survivor exhibits irritable behavior and angry outbursts including verbal or physical aggression, self-destructive behavior, difficulty with concentration, sleep disturbance, re-experiencing the event, avoiding remembering the event and hypervigilance. If these behaviors are triggered by traumatic events, PTSD should be investigated. Individuals with PTSD can re-experience the trauma through flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive memories including images and sounds of the event. Veterans with PTSD may also feel and react as if they were in constant danger, experiencing hypervigilance or hyperarousal.

If a person arrested for a crime has been exposed to traumatic events there may be a link between the crime and PTSD. Victims of PTSD may try to avoid painful thoughts by numbing themselves to the outside world. Responses to the pain of PTSD can include excessive alcohol use, abusing prescribed medication, or self medicating with illegal drugs. When a veteran diagnosed with PTSD is arrested and charged with a crime, it is important to look to the root cause of the drug use and also get help for the PTSD.

TBI and PTSD

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a head injury occurring when a sudden trauma cases injury to the brain. Documented TBI symptoms experienced by veterans can include difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings, frustration, headaches, fatigue and numerous other symptoms that did not exists before the TBI . PTSD and TBI are often treated together since the symptoms of each are similar, and many veterans with TBI also suffer from PTSD.

Self Medication is Not the Answer

Veterans and other people who bear the scars of PTSD or TBI may try to self medicate with alcohol or street drugs. Some may over medicate using their prescriptions. In order to deal with PTSD flashbacks they find disruptive or uncomfortable, veterans suffering physical and mental disorders may be prescribed medication to help them cope. Sometimes over medicating leads to buying drugs on the street in an attempt to self-medicate. For example, the depressed veteran may use marijuana to numb the pain. Veterans may turn to alcohol to relieve anxiety, or escape vivid flashbacks. Veterans may abuse Xanax, Valium, or other benzodiazepines to numb the symptoms or prevent panic attacks. Veterans with low energy levels or lack of motivation may abuse Adderall, crystal meth, or cocaine to enhance energy levels. Depression can follow as the effects of these drugs wear off. Abusing one or more controlled substances can quickly lead to a felony arrest. When a veteran suffers from service connected PTSD or other injury, we work with the VA to coordinate treatment or rehabilitation and the veteran’s legal defense. The VA provides social workers and the best Mississippi criminal defense lawyers know how to coordinate medical treatment with your defense.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast has a Strong Military Presence

The Mississippi Gulf Coast has a Navy Base - Construction Naval Battalion Center (CNBC) in Gulfport. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is also home to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. The Armed Forces Retirement Home house veterans in Gulfport. We are honored to have our heros among us.

Medical services for veterans are provided by the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Biloxi. Keesler Air Force Base has a regional hospital. The Veterans Affairs’s Polytrauma System of Care (PSC) has a campus in Pensacola, Florida committed to treating veterans with traumatic brain injury. The Biloxi Veterans Affairs also has excellent out patient and inpatient rehabilitation services for substance abuse and chemical dependency. The court system is gradually beginning to recognize the accomplishments and unique needs of our military veterans by establishing a veterans court.

Don’t Suffer in Silence - Call Today

If you or a loved on is a veteran who has been arrested, call today. Call Gulfport defense lawyer Rufus Alldredge at 228.863.0123. We are located at 1921 22nd Ave, Gulfport, Mississippi.