PTSD in the Veteran Community
Veteran’s Day is the 11th of November each year to honor those that have served our country. In honoring the veteran community, we must be aware of both their triumphs as well as their hardships. Veterans have seen things during their time in the military that they can never unsee – the ramifications can often manifest in the form of PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a common mental condition with which many members of the veteran community struggle. With proper support and treatment, they can cope with and overcome the obstacles set by PTSD in a healthy and constructive way.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that surfaces in people that have experienced something traumatic, shocking, or dangerous. It is not to say that everyone who experiences a scary event suffers from PTSD, however, everyone’s reaction to trauma is different. When faced with an intense situation, your body goes into the ‘fight or flight’ defense to protect itself. PTSD is when your body struggles to recover from the traumatic event and a person continues to face problems long after the event occurred.
When PTSD appears, following a traumatic event, is unique for each case – symptoms can show shortly after the event or not for several months or years. It is important to know how to identify possible signs of PTSD. The three telltale signs of PTSD are usually re-experiencing, avoidance, and arousal. Some other symptoms of PTSD include:
- Troubling dreams or nightmares
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Flashbacks or recurrent reminders of the event
- Angry outbursts
- Emotional numbness
- Reckless behavior
- Memory problems
- Negative mindset, thoughts, or mood
- Guilt, shame, or fear
PTSD in Veterans
Many veterans find it hard to readjust to a ‘normal’ life after their time in the military. Once you return to civilian life, it can seem that nobody understands what you have seen or experienced. You may feel angry, isolated, on edge, or numb to the world around you. These are signs that you may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
It can be hard to pinpoint what exactly causes PTSD – it can be what they witnessed on the front lines, or the fact that 23% of women report that they have been sexually assaulted during their time in the military. In addition, 38% of men report they have been sexually harassed during their time (1). The causes are broad, but the best answer is singular – seek help.
Treatment for PTSD
Many may be deterred from receiving treatment for their PTSD because of VA wait times or just not knowing where to start. However, PTSD is manageable with the proper treatment, and you can live a happy and normal life once you learn how to identify and cope with the causes of your condition. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but more a sign of strength. Everyone deserves to have a sound mind, especially those who have risked their lives to protect this country.
If you or someone you love is experiencing signs of PTSD, let this be your sign to begin your road to recovery. Florida Counseling Centers wants to help you find the proper treatment for your condition. Do not hesitate to contact us today. Our staff provides the highest quality of care to help get you to the life you always wanted.
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (2018, July 24). How Common is PTSD in Veterans? PTSD: National Center for PTSD. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_veterans.asp.