According to the Mayo Clinic, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event – either experiencing it or witnessing it.” Unfortunately, PTSD is common in veterans. While there is no formula to know why some people are more susceptible to PTSD, military veterans have a higher risk of developing PSTD than many civilian populations. Combat and sexual violence both increase the risk for PTSD.
PTSD symptoms vary by individual, but may include:
- Recurring intrusive thoughts and memories of trauma;
- Traumatic flashbacks;
- Severe emotional distress;
- Avoidance of places, people, or things;
- Negative self-talk;
- Hopelessness and feelings of despair;
- Difficulty maintaining relationships;
- Feeling numb;
- Feeling detached and uninterested;
- Startling quickly;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Aggressive behavior;
- Shame and guilt.
Additionally, PTSD may also compound or cause other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, and suicidal ideations.
The most important thing to know about PTSD, however, is that there is effective treatment.
All diagnosis and treatment should be provided by a certified medical provider. A medical professional may prescribe psychotherapy, medication, and coping mechanisms, or a mixture of treatments.
If your PTSD is interfering with your everyday life, you may be entitled to disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”). To determine your eligibility with confidence or assistance with filing a claim, please contact us today at (855) 312-5575.
In the meantime, below are some mental health resources and crisis hotlines:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)’s National Helpline
- Call at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
- Veteran Crisis Helpline – Lines for Life
- Call at 888-457-4838
- Text MIL1 to 839863.
- National Call Center for Homeless Veterans
- Call 1-877-424-3838
- Confidential chat at veteranscrisisline.net/get-help-now/chat/.
- Women Veterans Call Center
- Call 1-855-VA-Women(6636).
- Real Warriors
- Call 1-866-966-1020, available 24/7.