Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will not conduct research into the effects of medical cannabis on post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain — some of the very ailments veteran patients rely on the drug to treat.
A treatment involving the injection of a local anesthetic next to a bundle of nerves in the neck has eased post-traumatic stress symptoms in some patients in as little as 30 minutes with dramatic, lasting results.
While medical research into traumatic brain injuries is not new, our ability to identify and subsequently treat them, has leapt forward in the last decade and a half, owed in large part to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.