Your Psychological Health Matters
Imagine you start feeling disconnected, lonely or unmotivated, but can’t explain why. In situations like this, it can be helpful to talk to your health care provider.
Where psychological health meets prescription drug misuse
Psychological health concerns (like regularly feeling anxious, depressed and/or hopeless) increase the likelihood of risky drug use. This means two things:
- Prescription drugs are often misused to manage psychological health concerns.
- Individuals who misuse prescription drugs often develop psychological health concerns.
It’s also possible that people develop psychological health concerns and risky drug use behaviors at the same time, but not because one caused the other.
Psychological health as a Service member
As a Service member, you were screened for psychological health concerns before entering military service. You are then screened before and after each deployment and during your annual PHA to ensure individual and unit readiness. Even though you regularly answer questions about your psychological health, you should feel empowered to ask for help at any time. Asking for help shows your strength and keeps you and your career safe.
Don’t try to treat psychological health concerns yourself by self-medicating or misusing your own prescription drugs. Some medications may negatively affect your psychological health. If that’s the case, you may dismiss the psychological health symptoms that surface from medication, thinking that it’s normal and will pass. Remember – everyone reacts differently to medication. Listen to your body, especially when important things like your health and career are on the line.
How to care for your psychological health
You aren’t alone. The truth is, it’s hard work to maintain your psychological health given changing environments, the stress of military life such as deployments and PCS, job demands and time away from friends and family. Misusing prescription drugs to address a psychological health concern is not the answer because it can make concerns worse. Instead, seek help early to treat your concerns and reduce the impact.
Use these resources during challenging times
- Check in on yourself. Use this confidential, anonymous screening tool for quick feedback on your psychological health.
- Talk with your unit or squadron assigned medical personnel.
- Talk to your health care provider or visit your MTF mental health clinic.
- Talk confidentially with your chaplain, find resources from Military OneSource and/or use the Military and Family Life Counseling Program.
- Lean on your support system and talk about how you’re feeling.
For urgent needs, reach out to the Military Crisis Line for confidential help any time of day or night.
Remember that it takes small efforts each day to improve or maintain your psychological health. It’s always okay to seek help so make the most of these resources so that everyday can get a little easier.