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.
See Where to Get Help at the bottom of the page.
Think you might have PTSD? Mental Health America offers an online PTSD Test to print and bring to a mental health professional for appropriate determination and treatment options.
Veterans and 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.
- VA Info on PTSD Help
- Veterans talk about living with PTSD and how treatment turned their lives around
- PTSD info materials to print and share
- Online Tool to Learn, Compare, and Act on treatment options
- Nat'l Alliance on Mental Illness: Veterans & Active Duty
Where to Get Help
According to Mental Health America, “No single resource can solve everyone’s mental health problems.” The AANA shares the following as resources to begin your search to find the appropriate help you need.
Health professionals recommend seeking emotional support, such as peer support, self-help groups, or counseling. But when symptoms last longer than a month or affect ability to function, seek professional counseling. Counseling options may be found through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if your workplace has one, or ask your personal healthcare provider for recommendations.
Are you feeling emotional trauma following an adverse event? See Adverse Events
PTSD Alliance suggests, “If you are unsure of where you can go to get help for PTSD, look for mental health or medical professionals in your area, such as:
- Your family doctor
- Your OB/GYN
- Social workers
- Mental health counselors
- Community mental health clinics
- Support groups
- Private clinics
- Psychiatric services at local universities, schools, or hospitals"
For help finding a therapist, try the following resources:
- Mental Health America (MHA) How to Find a Therapist
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) Finding Help through support groups and therapists
- At work - do you have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with resources?
- International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Find a Clinician
- Sidran Institute, Traumatic Stress Education & Advocacy, help desk 410-825-8888, ext. 102
- SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
- Additional support options