Know the Signs

Personality Change

After returning home you may notice sudden or gradual changes in the way that he or she typically behaves. face-personality-changeThe behavior may not seem to fit the person’s values.


Upon returning home your military loved one may seem uncharacteristically angry, anxious, agitated, or moody. face-agitationYou may notice more he or she seems irritable or unable to calm down. People who endure extreme situations, like war, may be unable to sleep or may explode in anger at a minor problem.


Since your return home, have you found yourself more likely to withdraw or isolate
yourself from other people? face-withdrawalIn more severe cases, upon returning home from combat, you may start failing to make it to work or school.

Poor Self-Care

Once settling in at home, a veteran may stop taking care of himself or herself and engage in risky behavior. face-poor-self-careYou may notice a change in the person’s level of personal care or an act of poor judgment on his or her part. For instance, someone may let his or her personal hygiene deteriorate, or the person may start abusing alcohol or illicit substances or engaging in other self-destructive behavior that may alienate loved ones.


Have you noticed someone enrolled in the military who used to be optimistic and now can’t find anything to be hopeful about? They seem overcome with
face-hopelessnesshopelessness and overwhelmed by their circumstances. That person may be suffering from extreme or prolonged grief, or feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Military personnel in this situation may say that the world would be better off without them, suggesting suicidal thinking.

If you recognize the Five Signs in a member of the military community it may mean they are in emotional pain. Seek our resources for help.