Veterans and PTSD
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a real illness. You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a traumatic event, such as combat, assault or disaster. After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD can cause problems such as:
- Flashbacks, or feeling like the event is happening again
- Trouble sleeping or nightmares
- Feeling alone
- Angry outbursts
- Feeling worried, guilty or sad
PTSD starts at different times for different people. Signs of PTSD may start soon after a frightening event and then continue. Other people develop new or more severe signs months or even years later.
Another cause of PTSD in the military can be military sexual trauma (MST). This is any sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurs while you are in the military. MST can happen to both men and women and can occur during peacetime, training, or war.
How is PTSD treated?
The main treatments for people with PTSD are counseling, medications, or both. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care provider who is experienced with PTSD. Some people with PTSD need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.
Resources for Veterans
PTSD Basics - VA National Center for PTSD
Learn about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from Veterans who've experienced it. Watch the videos and hear their stories. Find out how treatment turned their lives around.
Mobile App: PTSD Coach
The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that often occur after trauma.
PTSD Coach Online
The website version of the app:
Sources: National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs