My Biggest Fear as a Veteran During This Election Season

Our 2016 presidential election is almost here, and none of the candidates are good options in my opinion, but what I fear the most in regards to my military service-caused mental illnesses is what this new presidency will do to my veteran’s health care.

I am a 50 percent-disabled Navy veteran who is an artist and writer, and I don’t hold a “normal day job.” This means all of my health care, medications and treatments come through the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. For many veterans, the VA system can already be a confusing, red tape-filled hell that is a monster to get through for anything. This isn’t any different for me. Obama care wouldn’t make enough of a difference for me to be able to afford my expensive medication, much less my weekly therapy appointments or my regular medical check-ups. I would never get treatment.

My biggest fear is the VA will get further budget cuts, that the elected politicians will change how disabled veterans receive medical care, or cut the minimal amount we get every month to live off of. This would be devastating for me. I fear my life would essentially be over as I would no longer have the resources to help me pull myself out of my spirals and control the more dangerous sides of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety. Simple de-stressing methods often aren’t enough for me; the symptoms and problems I deal with can be life-threatening if I’m not in therapy or on medications.

Every election season, this is a lingering thought, but now… This year, it is a growing fear — a feeling of such profound dread that this is the first time in my adult life I have been so concerned about voting. I can’t lose my medical care, because my medical care is why I am still alive.

Editor’s note: This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

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