Skip to site navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

 Customize Site Content   Change these settings to view content that is most relevant to you.

Skip to site navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Logo for Make the Connection Home



Learn more about experiencing confusion, treatment options, self-help tools, and resources to help you find healthier ways to manage your confusion.

Are you having difficulty with tasks that were previously easy but are now difficult to do and even understand? Does it seem like remembering basic information, like what day it is or how to tell time, has become more challenging? Is it hard to recall where your family members are when you’re not with them, even though you could easily keep track of them in the past? If situations like these seem familiar, you might be having periods of confusion.

Confusion is a mental state in which you may feel less alert, or get flustered and jumbled easily. Some Veterans experience confusion as a result of getting olderfrom having sleep problems, or as part of health conditions like dementia or traumatic brain injury. A minor sign of confusion, like forgetting the date but remembering it later, is not a major cause for concern. However, ongoing episodes of confusion, like feeling disoriented for a period of time or forgetting where you are going when driving your car, may signal a problem.

“I couldn’t remember certain things and I got all stressed. It became a vicious cycle because my stress would just make me more frustrated and more tense.”

Confusion and forgetfulness can affect your work, your daily life, and your relationships with family members, close friends, and co-workers. Some Veterans who experience confusion may find they have trouble solving simple problems, remembering details, or organizing their thoughts. Others may become paranoid and believe that people are out to get them because they don’t remember who they are or how they know each other.

Tailor Your Search

From more than 800 videos, filter down to find stories you can relate to.

  • Try to slow down and focus on the task at hand.
  • Do everyday tasks in the same order each time.
  • Keep a calendar or schedule, and make lists.
  • Use memory tricks like repeating people’s names or retracing your steps.
  • Find ways to reduce your stress such as by taking slow, deep breaths.
  • Put things like your keys and glasses in the same place after using them.
  • Take regular breaks to prevent feeling tired and overwhelmed.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, which can make confusion worse.

Openly discuss your confusion with family and close friends. When you’re ready to talk about what you’re experiencing, turn to them, so they may provide you with support and help you manage your confusion. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to thoroughly review your medications and make sure that they are not contributing to the problem.

Every day, Veterans from all military service branches and eras connect with proven resources and effective treatments. Here’s how to take the next step: the one that’s right for you.

New to VA? Apply for health care benefits.

Already enrolled in VA and interested in mental health support? Schedule a mental health appointment.

  • If you’re already enrolled and using VA health care, the fastest way to schedule VA appointments is to call the VA facility where you want to receive care.
  • With VA Appointments tools, you can schedule some VA health care appointments online, view details about upcoming appointments, and organize your health care calendar.
  • If you’re not using VA medical services, contact your nearest VA medical center or Vet Center to talk about your needs.

What about other options at VA? VA offers a variety of tools and resources.  

  • The Veteran Training online self-help portal for overcoming everyday challenges includes modules on managing anger, developing parenting and problem-solving skills, and more.
  • Mental health apps for Veterans cover a variety of topics, ranging from PTSD to anger management to quitting smoking.
  • VA TeleMental Health connects you with a VA mental health provider through a computer or mobile device in your home or at your nearest VA health facility. You can learn more about this option from your local VA medical center.
  • Community-based Vet Centers provide confidential counseling, community engagement and referral services to eligible individuals and their families. You don’t need to be enrolled in VA healthcare or have a service connection to receive services. Find a Vet Center near you or call 1-877-927-8387, 24/7 to talk with a fellow Veteran about your experiences.

What about support beyond VA?

There’s a whole community of support ready to help with whatever you’re going through. Use this tool to find resources near you.

Read Next

Managing PTSD

PTSD may develop as a result of traumatic events. Treatment works and can help you deal with PTSD symptoms.

Coping With Traumatic Brain Injury

Learn the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Hear stories from other Veterans. Find treatment options for TBI.

Treating Sleep Troubles

Learn if your trouble sleeping might be a symptom of a real problem. Hear stories from other Veterans. Find treatment options for trouble sleeping.

Additional Resources

Vet Center logo

Vet Center

Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers across the nation in all 50 states and US territories that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including counseling to eligible Veterans, service members - including National Guard and Reserve components – and their families. Counselors and outreach specialists, many of whom are Veterans themselves, are experienced and prepared to discuss the tragedies of war, loss, grief, and transition after trauma. To learn more, find your nearest Vet Center. Teams are also available 24/7 by phone at 1-877-927-8387.

View Resource
Veterans Crisis Line logo

Veterans Crisis Line

Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one? Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves. Free support is confidential and available 24/7. Dial 988 then Press 1, chat here or text 838255.

View Resource
Self-Help Tools logo

Self-Help Tools

Veterans can access online courses that provide instruction and training in problem-solving, parenting, anger management, sleeping better, managing stress and more.

View Resource