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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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