Information about PTSD
If you have experienced severe trauma or a life-threatening event — whether during a time of war or in a noncombat situation — you may develop symptoms of posttraumatic stress, or what is commonly known as PTSD. Maybe during the event you felt as if your life or the lives of others were in danger or that you had no control over what was happening. While in the military, you may have witnessed people being injured of dying, or you may have experienced physical harm yourself.
Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include recurring memories or nightmares of the event, sleeplessness, loss of interest, and feelings of numbness, anger or irritabilty, or being constantly on gaurd, but there are many ways PTSD can impact your everyday life. Sometimes these symptoms don't surface for months or even years after the event occurred or after returning from deployment. They may also come and go. If these problems persist or they're disrupting your daily life, you may have PTSD.
If you show signs of PTSD, you don't just have to live with it. In recent years, researchers have dramatically increased our understanding of what causes PTSD and how to treat it. Hundreds of thousands of Veterans who served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard have gotten treatment for PTSD and found significant relief from their symptoms.
Two types of treatment have been shown to be effective for treating PTSD: counseling and medication. Professional therapy or counseling can help you understand your thoughts and reactions and help you learn techniques to cope with challenging situations. Research has shown several specific types of counseling to be very effective for treating PTSD.
Medications can also be used to help reduce tension or irritability or to improve sleep. The class of medications most commonly used for PTSD is called "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors," but a doctor can work with you to figure out which medication works best for you.
Hotlines for PTSD Support and Crisis
Veteran Crisis Line
National Veterans Foundation Hotline
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAIN) (24 Hours)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hope Line
Gulf War Veteran’s Hotline
Suicide Prevention Hotline