Approximately 8 Million Adults In The Us Have A Diagnosis Of Ptsd2
PTS may be exacerbated by more frequent or severe exposures to trauma, and risk increases with history of trauma and stressors, personal or family history of psychopathology, and low social support.11
- In addition to being prevalent in military veterans, PTS is seen in first responders, rape and battery victims, and abused children.
Among people 13 years of age and older, 5.7% will develop PTSD during their lifetime.4 PTS is more prevalent in young adults, women, and African Americans, and high rates are also seen in Hispanics and Caucasians.
- Women are more than twice as likely as men to develop PTSD during their lifetime, and three times as likely to develop the disorder annually.1
3.7% of Americans ages 13 years of age and older have a diagnosis of PTSD every year
5.7% of Americans 13 years of age and older develop PTSD during their lifetime
Over 138,000 new PTSD diagnoses among deployed military personnel from 2000-2015
average post-deployment PTSD prevalencein U.S. infantry personnel
The PTS Spectrum Has Been Defined, Providing a Useful Framework for Thinking About Diagnosis and Treatment12
DSM-5 Diagnosis: Because our understanding of PTS constantly evolves, the DSM-5 was updated to assess four categories/clusters of PTSD symptoms13:
PTSD Is Highly Comorbid with Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and Suicidality14
In particular, when TBI and PTSD co-occur, symptoms may be difficult to delineate.
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Ptsd In Iraq And Afghanistan Conflict Veterans
The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are ongoing. That’s why the full the impact the war has had on the mental health of soldiers in Iraq is not yet known.
A study published in 2004 looked at members of four United States combat infantry units who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and found that soldiers who were deployed to Iraq had more exposure to combat than those deployed to Afghanistan. As such, of the veterans who participated in the study, there was greater prevalence of PTSD among those who returned from Iraq versus those who returned from Afghanistan .
One study of National Guard Soldiers highlighted the persistent effects of combat by looking at the rates of PTSD both three months and 12 months post-deployment. Rates of nine to 31% were noted overall, but of even more importance was the persistence of symptoms a year after return. In this study, there was also a high rate of alcohol misuse illustrating self-medicationa risky form of self-treatment for PTSD.
Prevalence Of Ptsd In The Community
U.S. National Comorbidity Survey Replication
The National Comorbidity Survey Replication , conducted between February 2001 and April 2003, comprised interviews of a nationally representative sample of 9,282 Americans aged 18 years and older. PTSD was assessed among 5,692 participants, using DSM-IV criteria. The NCS-R estimated the lifetime prevalence of PTSD among adult Americans to be 6.8% . Current past year PTSD prevalence was estimated at 3.5% .The lifetime prevalence of PTSD among men was 3.6% and among women was 9.7%. The twelve month prevalence was 1.8% among men and 5.2% among women .
These findings are very similar to those of the first National Comorbidity Survey. The original survey was conducted in the early 1990s and comprised interviews of a representative national sample of 8,098 Americans aged 15 to 54 years. In this earlier sample, the estimated prevalence of lifetime PTSD was 7.8% in the general population. Women were more than twice as likely as men to have PTSD at some point in their lives .
PTSD among children and adolescents
Kilpatrick and colleagues assessed the prevalence of PTSD among adolescents based on data from the National Survey of Adolescents, which included a household probability sample of 4,023 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. Using DSM-IV criteria for PTSD, the six-month prevalence was estimated to be 3.7% for boys and 6.3% for girls .
PTSD in other countries
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How Long Does Ptsd Last
PTSD symptoms usually appear soon after trauma. For most people, these symptoms go away on their own in thefirst few weeks and months after that. For some people, the symptoms can last for many years, especially ifthey do not seek help.
PTSD symptoms can worsen during times of stress or when people are reminded of what happened by traumatriggers . How long PTSD lasts also depends on whether effectivetreatment is received.
Coping Methods For Managing Ptsd Symptoms
Beyond formal mental health care approaches, several self-help methods may prove valuable in managing PTSD symptoms. These practices are widely recommended by mental health experts as solutions that veterans can utilize in their spare time or when exposed to particular stressors. These techniques may be suggested as a complement to ongoing mental health treatment.
- Physical activity: Exercise can help relieve stress and elevate ones mood.
- Aromatherapy: Certain smells, such as orange essential oil, may mitigate negative emotions associated with PTSD.
- Mindfulness practices: From formal meditation to simply noticing ones senses, practicing being present can reduce trauma reactivity.
- Deep breathing:This seemingly simple technique can be surprisingly effective, and is available anytime, anywhere.
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Veterans With Ptsd: Associated Health Risks
While the symptoms of PTSD can prove overwhelming in their own right, the condition is closely linked to other health risks in epidemiological research. Veterans who experience PTSD are at elevated risk for several related physical and psychological challenges. In some cases, the connection between these health problems is well understood in others, the basis of the relationship requires further exploration.
Some of the health problems linked to PTSD, either in research pertaining specifically to veterans or among individuals with PTSD more generally, are as follows:
Ptsd And Suicide Among Veterans Statistics
Sadly, statistics show that veterans now account for 20 percent of all suicides in the U.S., with individuals between ages 18-24 being four times more likely to commit suicide than nonveterans of the same ages. It is currently estimated that between 20 and 22 veterans die from suicide each day.
According to recent research, the likelihood of suicide increases once a person leaves active military service, and that risk is further increased in veterans whose service time was less than four years. Overall, PTSD may contribute to suicidal ideation, and possibly attempts, in veterans.
For immediate help, VA has implemented the veterans crisis line equipped with specially trained responders ready to help veterans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Veterans Crisis Line connects service members and veterans in crisis, as well as their family members and friends, with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text messaging service. Veterans can access the Crisis Line in any of the following ways:
- Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone
- Send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder
- Start a confidential online chat session at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.
- Take a self-check quiz at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Quiz to learn whether stress and depression might be affecting you.
- Find a VA facility near you.
- Visit MilitaryCrisisLine.net if you are an active duty service member, guardsman, or reservist.
How Do You Know If You Have Ptsd
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD include :
- Re-living symptoms: Triggers easily cause flashbacks, intense memories, and terrible nightmares of the incident. These can result in an extreme fight-or-flight response. You experience intense fear and panic attacks. You also develop chest tightness, palpitations, rapid breathing, and increased blood pressure, among others.
- Avoidance symptoms: You avoid places, people, activities, things, and even thoughts and emotions that remind you of the traumatic event.
- Increased arousal symptoms: Small things like loud noises and stressful events can easily startle and rattle you. You feel jittery, nervous, quick to anger, moody, and paranoid. You also develop sleep problems.
- Increased mood and cognition symptoms: You develop negative thoughts and cognitive issues like the inability to focus, concentrate, remember things, or recall memories, especially of the traumatic event. You may also have distorted thoughts and emotions where you blame yourself and feel guilty for what happened.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, you must have :
- At least one symptom of re-experiencing or reliving the traumatic event or incident
- At least one symptom of avoidance
- At least two symptoms of increased reactivity or arousal
- At least two symptoms of cognitive and mood problems
Alterations In Arousal And Reactivity
In individuals with PTSD, the brain and body experience a continued sense of danger long after the actual threat has passed. In particular, the amygdala, the region of the brain that processes fear and emotion, remains unusually active as if life-threatening danger remained present.
Accordingly, veterans with PTSD may experience an ongoing sense of being on guard, which mental health experts term hypervigilance. This heightened awareness and reactivity to ones surroundings can translate to the following difficulties, either while on active duty or post-deployment:
- Irritability or a propensity to angry outbursts
- Reckless, dangerous, or self-destructive behavior
- Being easily startled
- Excessive wariness regarding ones environment
- Problems with attention or concentration
- Difficulty sleeping
How Common Is Ptsd
Although most people feel much better within a month or two after a trauma, some people do develop PTSD orother problems like depression or substance use problems.
Did you know?
- About 9.2% of Canadians will have PTSD in their lifetime.
- Women develop PTSD more often than men.
- Certain types of trauma, such as those related to combat and rape, can cause higher rates.
What Percentage Of Veterans Have Ptsd
How many veterans suffer from PTSD? You may be shocked by the answer.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 11-20 out of every 100 veterans experience post-traumatic stress disordera number that is both overwhelming and, unfortunately, not always acknowledged to the degree that it should be.
PTSD is generally characterized by a few distinct categories of symptoms, which mental health professionals use to assess and treat the disorder. These categories, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , capture the kinds of mental health problems that veterans with PTSD experience to differing degrees.
To understand the daily struggles that PTSD can entail or to assess whether you or someone you love might be experiencing this condition, consider the following:
Intrusion of Thoughts, Memories, Flashbacks, and Dreams
This category describes any kind of repeated, unwanted recollections of the traumatic events. These intrusive forms of thinking include memories and dreams, which can be quite vivid. In some cases, individuals with a diagnosis of PTSD experience flashbacks in which they feel as if they are witnessing or reliving the traumatic event again. Similarly, disturbing recollections of injuries or fatalities might repeatedly or unpredictably intrude.
Avoidance of Reminders of Traumatic Events
This can also serve as a barrier to seeking treatment.
Alterations in Arousal and Reactivity
Non-Combat Causes of PTSD Among Veterans
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What You Should Know About The Symptoms Of Ptsd
Like many mental health issues, there is no single tell-tale sign of PTSD. There are a variety of symptoms that can be associated with the condition. Many of those may seem relatively harmless on their own such as bad dreams, sleeplessness, irritability, etc.
But in conjunction with other symptoms, may lead a health professional to conclude that further exploration is necessary to rule out or confirm PTSD as a possible cause.
Those who suffer from PTSD may find their symptoms fall within a certain range of experiences rather than a specific part of life. I get irrationally angry when red cars drive past me on the freeway is a legitimate sign of possible PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms. It may be less specific and easily defined as, I get irrationally angry when I hear sounds of cars driving past me.
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Speak To A Lawyer Who Can Advocate For Your Va Claim
Receiving VA disability compensation can be complicated, so having a veterans disability attorney on your side can be helpful. Hill and Ponton is a nationwide law firm advocating for the rights of veterans everywhere.
Our lawyers have over 30 years of experience in social security disability law and were always ready to speak to veterans who have questions about the VA disability claims process, if theyre eligible, and what disability benefits theyre entitled to.
Veterans Statistics: Ptsd Depression Tbi Suicide
The following veterans statistics are from a major study done by the RAND Corporation, a study by the Congressional Research Service, the Veterans Administration, and the US Surgeon General.
PTSD statistics are a moving target that is fuzzy: do you look only at PTSD diagnosed within one year of return from battle? Do you only count PTSD that limits a soldiers ability to go back into battle or remain employed, but that may have destroyed a marriage or wrecked a family? Do you look at the PTSD statistics for PTSD that comes up at any time in a persons life: it is possible to have undiagnosed PTSD for 30 years and not realize itpossibly never or until you find a way to get better and then you realize there is another way to live. When you count the PTSD statistic of what percentage of a population gets PTSD, is your overall starting group combat veterans, veterans who served in the target country, or all military personnel for the duration of a war?
There is a similar problem with suicide statistics. The DoD and their researchers tend to lose track of military personnel once they retire, and not all suicides will be counted as a military suicide . A recent study found U.S. veteran suicide rates to be be as high as 5,000 a year.
The Debate Over Punishment And Repercussions
Most of the time, people for and against the death penalty are very different sides of the lawful execution debate. In the case of Brannan, however, many law enforcement officials and capital punishment supporters found themselves asking the same questions that those who oppose the death penalty ask. Why? Because Andrew Brannan was a Vietnam War veteran and had a confirmed diagnosis of PTSD when the traffic stop took place in 1998.
Vietnam veterans had one of the worst journeys to walk in life of any other veteran group. Not only were the tragedies of that war great, but these veterans came home to a general public who didnt understand the stresses that PTSD can put onto someone. Andrew Brannan saw his fair share of stress. He had to twice take command of his unit in Vietnam because his commanding officers had all been killed. Brannan was given partial disability for his PTSD. Now he might have been convicted and put to death because of it as well.
As the statistics of Vietnam veterans and PTSD show, this war that happened decades ago still has a profound effect on society. Was Brannan wrong to kill a young police officer? Absolutely. Was he mentally fit to stand trial for such actions? Thats where the great debate lies.
Mental Health And Addiction Help In Tennessee
If you are a veteran struggling with the symptoms of PTSD or other mental health issue, we can help. At our residential, long-term and outpatient treatment centers, Cumberland Heights provides top-notch mental health care to those dealing with mental illnesses, especially those co-occurring with substance use disorders. Our dedicated staff members will walk with you every step of the way on your journey to recovery, helping you to rewrite your story.
At Cumberland Heights, weve been changing lives since 1966. To learn more about our services, contact the Cumberland Heights admissions team.
How Many Veterans Are Receiving Va Disability Compensation Benefits
- As of Fiscal Year 2018, a total of 4,743,108 veterans out of an eligible 19,602,316 veterans are receiving some sort of VA disability compensation benefits AND have a service connected VA rating of at least 0%.
- 24.2% of veterans receiving VA compensation benefits have a service-connected VA rating of 0% or higher.
- 75.8% of veterans do NOT receive any sort of disability compensation benefits from the VA for a variety of reasons .
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Organization Gives Veteran Hope
At Save A Warrior, he and other shepherds use a non-medical model to encourage enrollees to share their concerns, fears, and vulnerabilities. The shepherds often hear things that people wouldnt ordinarily share in a medical setting, he says, including the fact that it can be risky for a policeman or fireman to reveal that they have PTSD. Doing so, hes learned, can get them fired from their job.
They may also say, `I have an alcohol problem. I have a drug problem. I beat my wife, Henson says. Or in the case of a paramedic, they may say theyre struggling at home because theyve got a three-year-old and werent able to save a four-year-old who looks a lot like their child at home. I witnessed a Veteran tell me and his brothers for the first time that hes gay. Thats courage. Thats being vulnerable. Its about a tight seal on the container we call SAW, where men and women may feel safe for the first time in a long, long time.
Henson just wants to give back to the organization that gave him so much.
Save A Warrior did not save my life, but it gave me hope, he says. Its the difference between `being alive and `living. Its also about being of service. Im one of the shepherds who helps people through the process that I went through. In my view, this is not a gift Im giving where I expect something in return. If I expect something in return, it becomes transactional.
— Mike Richman