What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health problem that can occur following the direct experience of or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. It is a medically recognized anxiety disorder that occurs in normal individuals under extremely stressful conditions. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through a range of symptoms (e.g., nightmares and uncontrollable thoughts, difficulty sleeping, and feeling detached or estranged from other people), and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly worsen the person's quality of life and ability to function.
PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. It is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs together with related problems such as depression, substance abuse, problems with memory, and other problems of physical and mental health. PTSD is also associated with impairment of the person's ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorce, family conflict, and difficulties in parenting.
Useful Links for Veterans:
United States Department of Veterans Affairs: The VA's web site provides a wide range of information on veterans' benefits and treatment facilities.
Readjustment Counseling Services Vet Centers: Information on the mission, organization, location, and contact information for Readjustment Counseling Service's Vet Centers.
The National Center for PTSD Website: The National Center for PTSD is a research and education organization whose mission is to help increase the understanding about trauma and its aftereffects. Their website has a wealth of information on trauma and PTSD for all audiences.
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Website: ISTSS has a membership directory of clinicians by state who are interested in or specialize in trauma and traumatic stress studies.
National Institute for Mental Health Website: Has excellent overviews of a number of disorders related to trauma exposure, including anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and substance use disorders.
24/7 Hotline for National Guard and Military Reserves: 1-855-VET-TALK
Vets4 Warriors-Our staff will listen and not judge you for anything. If you want to just talk, we will support that. If you need some information, we can help you find it. Our deal is to partner with you on your quest and do our best to help you succeed.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the Make the Connection campaign to help Veterans and their families connect with services that improve their lives. The campaign encourages Veterans and their families to “make the connection”—with other people, with resources, with symptoms of mental health issues, and with treatment and support—to get their lives on a better track.