CLEVELAND -- Army Reservist Latisha Bowen served from 2001 to 2009 including a tour in Iraq. She came home with a violent temper she had trouble controlling.
Without psychological guidance from the Cleveland VA, she believed she was on a very dark road.
"Probably in jail because my temper was not a good one," Latisha recalls.
Dr. Ronald Riechers is Medical Director of the VA's Polytrauma team. They help returning veterans like Latisha get back into civilian life, even if they're suffering from traumatic brain injuries or post traumatic stress disorder.
"I think the most important message veterans need to hear is that things can get better but they're not going to get better if you don't seek the help you need," Dr. Riechers says.
"They're there to help us even if you're embarrassed just go talk to someone," Latisha adds.
The Polytrauma team has several components. The physical therapy team helps vets dealing with the physical results of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, balance and coordination.
The psychiatric team targets the emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety and difficulty adjusting to civilian life as well as cognitive issues like memory loss, difficulty concentrating, lack of focus and/or attention.
"My advice is get in to the doctor get checked out evaluate all these issues and know that many issues like mild traumatic brain injury are treatable and often get better with time," Dr. Riechers says.
After seven years Latisha believes she's on the road to getting back to work and finishing school. The VA gave her the coping skills to better deal with her anger.
"You take care of your house, you take care of your body and your mental status has to do with your body," Latisha says.
Click HERE to learn more about the VA's mental health programs.