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How a Starting a Business Can Help Veterans Manage PTSD

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You can help veterans cope with the symptoms of PTSD by showing them how to start their own business.

When a serviceperson completes their tour of duty, they can develop a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), if they’ve lived through distressing events. As a result, it’s sometimes difficult for military personnel to re-acclimate to civilian life.

To cope with PTSD, some veterans focus on a new hobby, while others invest their time in more involved activities – such as starting a business.

What is PTSD and What Are the Symptoms?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that’s brought on by trauma. People with whom physicians diagnose with PTSD may have experienced a traumatic event first-hand or simply witnessed it. Symptoms of the condition can include anxiety, depression, flashbacks and nightmares.

PTSD is a challenging condition to manage. Some veterans suffer from the condition and aren’t aware that they have an emotional health problem. Complicating the issue is that many people misunderstand PTSD. For example, some individuals think that PTSD only affects soldiers who participated in combat or were present when a violent incident took place. Also, among those who know something about PTSD, many only have limited knowledge of the condition.

The biggest obstacle in treating PTSD is to compel a veteran to acknowledge that they’re having trouble. You can help a veteran who is struggling with the condition by urging them to seek help.

Whether you’re a family member or friend, you can help in this regard. By urging a former serviceperson to seek assistance, you’ll help that individual as well as their entire support network.

Business Owners Have Flexibility That Can Help with Comfort and Stress

A growing number of people participate in the gig economy, either by making peer-to-peer powered purchases or working in the field. Individuals who work in the gig economy are business owners. Freelancing is another kind of self-employed work that is becoming increasingly popular. It can serve as a rewarding career for former military personnel.

Full-time jobs come with benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans and other perks. They end when a worker resigns or the employer terminates them. Sometimes, the job itself comes to an end.

Contract workers work for a set amount of time. For example, they may work for three months, a year or the duration of a specific project.

Freelancers may work for one company or several companies at once in either a full-time or part-time role. As an example, a marketing agency may hire a graphic designer to work on one project and offer no more work. In this type of arrangement, the employer doesn’t promise any additional work once the designer completes their original assignment. These examples of different roles in the gig economy can serve as empowering options for veterans who are looking for employment.

Running a Business Can Help Develop a Powerful Mindset

For many veterans, entrepreneurship is a phenomenal opportunity. The skills that they learned while in the service of the country translate well into the world of commerce.

However, running a business can prove challenging, especially for small business owners. A small business owner has many responsibilities. These responsibilities can contribute to stress. Long days and many tasks can prove overwhelming. Alternatively, sometimes business is slow. During these times, it’s easy to get caught up worrying about how to make ends meet.

Through the ups and downs of business, it’s essential to maintain the right mindset. If, for example, things are going well, focus more on what you’re doing right. During a downtick in business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of depression. However, if you take stock of what you’re doing well, it’s easier to see how things will get better when business picks back up. Accordingly, it helps to focus on the positive to get you through turbulent times in business.

Veteran Entrepreneurs Can Find Mentors Who Have Already Paved the Way

In 2015, former military serviceperson Charmaine Gresham founded HLG Scans – a business services company that caters to companies and consumers. In a Black Enterprise expose, she reveals that she often experienced emotional highs when she started her business. However, she also experienced lows that were so intense she could only hope to make it to another day. In the article, the businesswoman expressed that there were times when she felt like she was in a dark hole that she wanted to climb out.

Now, her day begins with meditation, preparing her daughter for school and meeting with a personal trainer. Next, she goes home to start her workday, which could include virtual meetings, reviewing emails and checking off to dos.

She also meets with a counselor twice a month. Says Gresham, the sessions help her to decompress and refresh. Gresham’s current routine is exemplary of how veterans can embrace a business focused mindset and reenter civilian life successfully.

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