Depression and PTSD Treatments for Veterans in Ottawa

The presence of both depression and PTSD are common among veterans in Ottawa. Individuals who have served face many challenges that are different from the civilian population. For example, many veterans also face significant physical issues including tinnitus, hearing loss, chronic physical pain from repetitive training and mental angst at the lack of support from the military after discharge. Furthermore, military members have additional stressors on important support systems due to the tendency to be deployed or moved around frequently during their careers. This leads to a significant disruption in relationships, stable housing and financial stability. Veterans who have deployed often have witnessed humanity at its worst and it can be difficult to re-integrate into society that is often pleasantly unaware of the realities of atrocities committed around the world. Lastly, the culture of the military is largely based on putting the needs of others, the organisation and the country ahead of personal needs which can make individuals feel guilty or shameful to reach out for support when they need it.

Temporary ways in which Veterans commonly deal with PTSD and trauma:

-Compartmentalisation: In the short-term, it allows veterans to believe they can keep external stressors from influencing performance and live with otherwise irreconcilable conflicts. However, in the long-term this may interfere with the ability to effectively work through and recover from acute traumatic responses.

-Dissociation: May be adaptive in the short-term because it allows veterans to focus their attention externally and distract from internal feelings of pain or fatigue. In the long-term, this may be maladaptive if the Veteran ignores their physical/emotional symptoms and detaches from them rather than addressing them. They may also not perceive this detachment as abnormal and be more likely to minimize the extent and nature of their symptoms.

-Perfectionism: May be adaptive for a Veteran because they can derive satisfaction from intense effort if they are able to tolerate imperfections without self-criticism. However, this may morph into maladaptive behaviour if the individual sets unrealistic personal standards and ruminate over mistakes.

Effective treatment for depression and PTSD in veterans often involves a combination of therapy, medication, and social support. Our clinic has experience treating Veterans with a new type of treatment which has been very effective. Veterans Affairs Canada has recently approved repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) for the treatment of depression with or without PTSD in Ottawa. It is very exciting to have an effective and medication-free treatment option for Veterans who are struggling with depression. Given the high risk of suicide in Veterans, it’s essential for veterans experiencing depression to seek support and treatment. TMS Life is a Mental Health Clinic that specializes in the treatment of depression and we are experienced in supporting Veterans. Please contact us now for more information on the latest treatments available in Ottawa for Depression, OCD and PTSD.