Veterans and PTSD




























What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after a traumatic event in which you think your or others' lives are in danger. During the traumatic event, you may feel you don't have control over what is happening, and can, naturally, feel extreme fear for your or others' safety and/or survival. Events can include: combat, assault, sexual abuse, physical abuse, natural disasters, and accidents. After the event, you may feel confused, scared, or angry. If the feelings don't go away, or get worse, you may have PTSD. These symptoms can disrupt your life and make it hard to continue with daily activities.

About half of those who initially experience PTSD recover within a short period of time, often without treatment. About one out of three of people with initial symptoms of PTSD continue to have persistent symptoms. Treatment can help. PTSD doesn't have to interfere with your work, everyday activities, and relationships.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD can disrupt your life, making it hard to continue with normal daily activities. PTSD symptoms generally start soon after the initial traumatic event, but may not start until many months or years. PTSD symptoms may come and go over time. If your first symptoms last longer than four weeks, or cause significant distress, or interfere with work or home life, you probably have PTSD.

The four types of PTSD symptoms include:

  1. Reliving the traumatic event (including nightmares)
  2. Avoidance of situations that remind you of the traumatic event
  3. Feeling numb or "dissociated"
  4. Feeling tense and/or keyed up (hyper-arousal)

Other problems frequently associated with PTSD:

Who gets PTSD?

According to a study by RAND on the incidence and treatment of PTSD in the military, Army and Marines veterans are the most likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder, but exposure to combat trauma is the best predictor of PTSD. A very important finding was that, in addition to Army and Marine veterans, high rates of incidence of PTSD were found in service members who were no longer on active duty (including reserves and retired military). This confirms previous findings. Apart from those exposed to combat trauma, PTSD was not found affect any subgroup (gender, ethnicity, officer/enlisted) more that than any other. See other PTSD statistics.

What happens if PTSD is ignored and not treated?

First of all, if PTSD is not treated, you are going to miss out on a lot that life has to offer. Your family and friends will also suffer. According to the RAND study, untreated PTSD results in increased "drug use, suicide, marital problems and unemployment."

The Veterans and PTSD website

This site offers insights and tools to make recovery faster. Veterans report that they want a private, drug-free way of recovering from PTSD. They also feel that the support of their friends and family is an important part of their healing. This veterans and PTSD site gives: