Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Mental Health Related

My Son Just Returned Home From Active Duty in Afghanistan With PTSD and Debt. – Lori

“Dear Steve,

My son just returned from Afghanistan, and he is very messed up w/ PTSD! He was on the frontlines for 9 months, and now he is home and up to his ass in debt, the US Government does not care about these kids, how do i get him help, he is depressed and I really want to help him…

Where do we turn to?

Who can help him?

Do you know who and how to contact help?


Dear Lori,

Thank you for reaching out to me for help. Let’s see if I can’t help you get headed in the right direction here.

What we actually have are two issues. One is the debt and the other is the underlying mental health issues.

It is my opinion that the PTSD and underlying mental health issues need to be our bigger priority. Without getting those under control and treated, the debt problem will only get worse.

I would suggest that you strongly consider helping your son deal with his current debt with a consumer bankruptcy. This will allow you to help him then deal with the PTSD issues without the stress and strain of the debt.

While bankruptcy might seem like a severe response, my number one concern is that we help your son build a solid foundation from which he can get well emotionally and build a better foundation on moving forward.

I would suggest you start with the VA for PTSD assistance or the National Center for PTSD. There are a number of treatments for PTSD and this link will help. All VA Centers provide PTSD care as well.

The symptoms of PTSD are not helped with severe debt in the mix.

Reactions to a trauma may include:

  • Feeling hopeless about the future
  • Feeling detached or unconcerned about others
  • Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Feeling jumpy and getting startled easily at sudden noises
  • Feeling on guard and constantly alert
  • Having disturbing dreams and memories or flashbacks
  • Having work or school problems

You may also experience more physical reactions such as:

  • Stomach upset and trouble eating
  • Trouble sleeping and feeling very tired
  • Pounding heart, rapid breathing, feeling edgy
  • Sweating
  • Severe headache if thinking of the event
  • Failure to engage in exercise, diet, safe sex, regular health care
  • Excess smoking, alcohol, drugs, food
  • Having your ongoing medical problems get worse

You may have more emotional troubles such as:

  • Feeling nervous, helpless, fearful, sad
  • Feeling shocked, numb, and not able to feel love or joy
  • Avoiding people, places, and things related to the event
  • Being irritable or having outbursts of anger
  • Becoming easily upset or agitated
  • Blaming yourself or having negative views of oneself or the world
  • Distrust of others, getting into conflicts, being over controlling
  • Being withdrawn, feeling rejected or abandoned
  • Loss of intimacy or feeling detached

Let’s get that consumer debt out of the way. You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney. Once we deal with that while he is getting help for his depression and PTSD, you can get him on a path to easily rebuild his credit again.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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