Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

"We know that those who served in the military don't generally come to the emergency department or their doctor's office for behavioral health issues. They typically present with other physical symptoms. However, there is much evidence that physical ailments and behavioral health issues go hand-in-hand."

~ Dr. David Deopere, President Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health


Combat stress is an expected and predictable reaction to combat experiences. But when the reactions to a traumatic event impair functioning, PTSD may be to blame.

Experts believe PTSD occurs

  • In about 11-20% of veterans of the Iraq & Afghanistan wars
  • In as many as 10% of Gulf War veterans
  • In about 30% of Vietnam veterans

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

  • Reliving the event - Nightmares, flashbacks, or feeling like you are going through the event again after a sight, smell or sound trigger
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event, such as crowds or driving a vehicle
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings, staying away from relationships, not trusting people  
  • Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal) - Being jittery, or always on the lookout for danger, suddenly becoming angry or irritable, having a hard time sleeping or concentrating

Other Problems Associated with PTSD

  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame or despair
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Physical symptoms or chronic pain
  • Employment problems
  • Relationship problems

How to Get Help

Are you in crisis? You have options:

  • Contact the Veterans Crisis Line: (800) 273-8255, press 1 (text 838255) or Confidential Veterans Chat with a counselor
  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest Emergency Room
  • Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255
  • Robert Young Center 24/7 Crisis Intervention Line (309) 779-2999

Source: ptsd.va.gov