Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD, as defined by the National Institute of Health (NIMH), is an anxiety disorder that can be experienced after seeing or living through a dangerous or traumatic event. The emotional and physical symptoms of PTSD fall within three categories: Re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and hyperarousal symptoms. It is important to your health to recognize these symptoms of PTSD and know resources for seeking help.
Think you might have PTSD? Mental Health America offers an online PTSD Test to print and bring to a mental health professionals for appropriate determination and treatment options.
Veterans and PTSD
Military personnel, because of the nature of their work and exposure to war, disaster, and trauma are especially vulnerable to PTSD.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD is the nation’s leading provider of care for PTSD with nearly 500,000 veterans currently in treatment. VA has many entry points to care through the use of veterans readjustment counseling centers, the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255, press 1), and integration of mental health services in the primary care setting. Since 2007, VA has seen a 35 percent increase in the number of veterans receiving mental health services, and a 41 percent increase in mental health staff.
The VA raises awareness of PTSD and provides resources to individuals, families, and communities designed to help those who may be at risk. These include:
- Veterans talk about living with PTSD and how treatment turned their lives around
- PTSD info materials to print and share
- Professional resources for diagnosing and treating PTSD
- Online Tool to Learn, Compare, and Act on treatment options
- Nat'l Alliance on Mental Illness: Veterans & Active Duty
Where to Get Help
"There is no single treatment that will work for every person with PTSD. But in general, people who receive an evidence-based treatment (a treatment proven to work in multiple research studies) for PTSD show a noticeable improvement in their symptoms, and many no longer have PTSD." PTSD.va.gov
- VA Info on PTSD Help
- At work - do you have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with resources?
- Feeling emotional trauma following an adverse event? See Adverse Events.
- PTSD Alliance Treatment Resources
- Additional support options
*infographics available here