Monday, June 17, 2024

What Is Ptsd In Veterans

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Who Suffers From Ptsd More People Than You Might Think

What is PTSD? (Whiteboard Video)

Post-traumatic stress disorder affects approximately eight percent of the population. According to some statistics, about 70% of all adult Americans have experienced some form of trauma and about 20% of that percentage will develop symptoms associated with PTSD. Some 44,000,000 people must cope with post-traumatic stress disorder in some form.

Causes of PTSD vary. Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event is described as the source of PTSD symptoms. PTSD may be caused by combat, abuse, emotional loss, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, serious accidents, assault, and many other situations.

PTSD was recognized as a mental health issue in 1980 and is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association.

When You Cant Decide What Treatment Option Is Best For Your Ptsd

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a resource called a that helps people experiencing PTSD identify different options. They help choose the treatment that seems best based on symptoms and how the condition affects everyday life.

Those experiencing suicidal feelings or self-destructive urges should get help immediately. The Suicide Crisis Hotline has a specific resource for veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a Veterans Crisis Hotline confidential chat resource.

Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News

How Ptsd Affects Veterans

Though PTSD has been around for a long time, its only recently that healthcare professionals have started understanding how this ailment can manifest different symptoms in individuals.

PTSD, also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental illness where an individual fails to recover from a traumatic event. This can lead to a series of symptoms like nightmares, hallucinations, panic attacks and even depression.

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs , PTSD can be defined as a feeling of out of control and is not limited to military members.

In military members, however, PTSD can surface in members who have experienced traumatic events like-

  • Military sexual trauma
  • Loss of fellow members
  • Combat

While PTSD is related to trauma, experiencing a traumatic event isnt always necessary. It can also be detected if an individual lives in a combat zone.

PTSD In Veterans

It was only in the 1960s that the US military recognized PTSD as a response to the Vietnam War.

According to recent surveys, 30% of the Veterans who served in the Vietnam War have PTSD. In other words, every 30 out of 100 Vietnam Veterans had PTSD at one point in their lives.

Moreover, 12% of the Veterans who served in the Gulf war experience PTSD symptoms every year.

While the armed conflict is an important factor that can lead to PTSD, some Veterans who served in brief combat missions or were put through enhanced training methods might also develop PTSD.

Finding Help

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Ptsd Symptoms: What Affected Veterans Experiences

Individuals with PTSD experience a diverse array of symptoms, and veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD may face several kinds of challenging thoughts and feelings. However, PTSD is generally characterized by a few distinct categories of symptoms, which mental health professionals use to assess and treat the disorder.These symptom categories, as described in the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , capture the kinds of mental health problems that veterans with PTSD experience to differing degrees. These DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD are widely accepted in psychiatry and related mental health fields. To understand the daily struggles that PTSD can entail or to assess whether you might be experiencing this condition yourself consider the following:

How Is Ptsd Diagnosed

Veterans PTSD &  Suicide Epidemic

PTSD is a trauma- and stress-related disorder with recurrent symptoms. It can have overlapping symptoms with other mental health disorders, especially other anxiety disorders. However, getting an accurate diagnosis is essential when it comes to getting the help you need. PTSD may have treatment approaches that are unique, so getting the right help for your needs is an important first step in getting effective treatment. Getting a diagnosis may start with a meeting with a doctor or therapist. When youre seeking a mental health diagnosis, its often good to also get physical examinations and lab tests.

There is no medical exam that can identify PTSD, but it may help rule out other potential causes or contributing factors. For instance, certain vitamin deficiencies can contribute to psychological symptoms. You will also go through a psychological assessment, and your doctor or therapist will likely consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to help make an accurate diagnosis. PTSD is an officially diagnosed disorder in the fifth edition of the DSM .

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What Are The Most Common Ptsd Symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD can develop in the hours, days, weeks, months, or even years following exposure to a traumatic event. The symptoms of PTSD can vary widely but are generally grouped into four primary symptom clusters. These include:

PTSD can often increase your risk of other mental health problems including depression, substance abuse, lapses in memory and cognition, and other physical and mental health problems. People who suffer from PTSD sometimes experience difficulties in social or family life. They may be unable to keep a job, have marital problems or have a difficult time getting along with family members.

How To Prevent Ptsd

Traumatic experiences are a part of the job for military services members, just as they are for many first responders. However, that doesnt necessarily mean that PTSD has to be inevitable for some people. There are several ways that military service members can prepare for and respond to traumatic events that may help prevent PTSD. With more awareness about the risks of PTSD, people with high-risk jobs have more options to help safeguard against this disorder.

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Is Ptsd A Disability

Is PTSD a disability? Many veterans ask this question, and the answer is absolutely yes. Post-traumatic stress disorder is not only disabling to many veterans, but is an official ratable disability that can be service-connected for compensation from the VA.

The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes PTSD as a mental condition that can result from military service, and will therefore compensate veterans for PTSD if its service-connected and a claim is filed.

Is PTSD a disability is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to questions about this often distressing condition. The prevalence of PTSD in veterans is high, and since it is a disability its important to know not only how to get support and treatment but compensation for it. Below, we cover common questions about PTSD, particularly in veterans, as well as VA rating and compensation for PTSD.


Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call with an experienced Team Member. Learn what youve been missing so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation youve earned for your service.

  • Coach Rylan Reilkoff
  • Weve Helped Many Thousands Of Veterans Obtain Or Increase A Va Disability Rating For Ptsd

    What is PTSD?

    While many organizations consider PTSD a complicated rating to obtain, we believe that when you know how to build your claim correctly its among the top three easiest claims to win. Our veteran coaches are trained and experienced in working with these kinds of claims.

    Reach out to us for a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call about your PTSD claim.

    Also check out these supportive related educational articles:

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    Treatment For People With Complex Ptsd

    Treatment for CPTSD has come a long way in recent years. Currently, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs encourages veterans to find a mental health professional to truly begin to heal from the experienced traumas.

    Therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy or cognitive processing therapy can be extremely helpful for people with complex PTSD.

    Moreover, there is a unique therapy for people with complex PTSD. This therapy is called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing . According to the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Institute, EMDR therapy has been effective in helping nearly 80 percent of veterans diagnosed with PTSD heal from their traumatic experiences in only a dozen sessions.

    These statistics might seem exaggerated or you might feel that it would take a miracle to cure your PTSD. But theres a science behind EMDR.

    Heres how EMDR works:

    EMDR is a great and effective therapeutic approach for people with CPTSDespecially if you are a person with CPTSD who would like to recover from traumatic experiences as well as struggles with substance abuse disorders.

    What Is Ptsd In Veterans

    Posttraumatic stress disorder is a reaction to traumatic and life-threatening events. When you are a veteran, the likelihood that you are exposed to a traumatic event is much higher than that of a civilian. This can include seeing gruesome acts of violence, being constantly on edge, having your life put in danger, feeling a lack of control over the events around you, or witnessing a friend get injured or die. Veterans who get injured in combat are also at a great risk to suffer PTSD. PTSD can dramatically infringe upon the ability of veterans to live a normal life, with debilitating symptoms that impact the veteran and those around them.

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    Help A Veteran To Seek Mental Health Treatment

    One of the first and most difficult tasks in treating a veteran with PTSD is getting the veteran to acknowledge there is a mental health condition in the first place. One way to help these veterans is by encouraging them to seek counseling or treatment.

    According to a fact sheet from the Rand Corporation, veterans and active military personnel are often reluctant to seek care for mental health concerns. Potential reasons for veterans reluctance to pursue mental health treatment include the perception that it is a sign of weakness, fear of potential career repercussions for seeking treatment and skepticism about the effectiveness of such treatments.

    This is where families and friends can help. Addressing these concerns and encouraging a veteran to seek help for PTSD can prove immensely beneficial to all parties involved.

    Can Ptsd Be Cured

    June is PTSD Awareness Month

    There is no known cure for post-traumatic stress disorder. Like other mental health disorders, PTSD is a complex problem with several potential causes and consequences that makes each case unique. There is no physical exam or test that can diagnose PTSD, and getting a diagnosis and treatment plan requires a complex assessment process. While PTSD is a chronic disease with no cure, it can be treated effectively. However, treatment must begin with an accurate diagnosis. Through the treatment process, you may receive various therapies that are appropriate for your needs. These may include cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing . SSRI medications, which are antidepressants, can also treat anxious thoughts or depression.

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    What Are Some Symptoms Of Ptsd

    Symptoms can be different for each person and can appear months or years after trauma. Nightmares, flashbacks, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, avoiding people or relationships, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, and being easily startled are common symptoms. Depression and suicidal thoughts are common.

    Understanding Ptsd In Veterans

    Are you having a hard time readjusting to life out of the military? Are you always on edge, always on the verge of panicking or exploding, or, on the flip side, do you feel emotionally numb and disconnected from your loved ones? Do you believe that youll never feel normal again?

    For all too many veterans, these are common experienceslingering symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder . Its hard living with untreated PTSD and, with long V.A. wait times, its easy to get discouraged. But you can feel better, and you can start today, even while youre waiting for professional treatment. There are many things you can do to help yourself overcome PTSD and come out the other side even stronger than before.

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    If You Even Suspect You May Be Suffering From Post

    There are many resources for veterans, currently serving military members, dependents and spouses. The Department of Veterans Affairs official site has a large amount of information and advice.

    You can get help right away by calling the National Center for PTSD at 1-800-273-8255 or chat online with a Veterans Crisis Line counselor.

    Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News

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    Resources For Service Members

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    In addition to these forms of therapy, the following resources can be useful for service members and their families who want to receive more information about different types of PTSD treatment.

    Contact your family doctor. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs advises veterans to consult their family doctor as one way of finding an experienced trauma-care provider.

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    Diagnostic And Statistical Manual

    PTSD was classified as an anxiety disorder in the DSM-IV, but has since been reclassified as a “trauma- and stressor-related disorder” in the DSM-5. The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD include four symptom clusters: re-experiencing, avoidance, negative alterations in cognition/mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.

    Ptsd Disability Benefits For Veterans

    The good news is that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans is covered through disability benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada. To determine what disabilities are covered by Veterans Affairs Canada, you can review the official Table of Disabilities.

    The process for obtaining disability benefits for PTSD is fairly straightforward. Upon completing an application, Veterans Affairs Canada will:

    • Review your service records

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    What Does Ptsd Disability Pay

    Your PTSD rating will compensate you based on your total disability rating. The disability rating youre given for PTSD is combined with any other disability ratings you have, if any, to give you an overall rating based on VA math.

    There is no PTSD rate for VA disability compensation the disability rating at any given percentage pays based on that percentage no matter what condition gave you that rating.

    To check the current years VA disability rates, you look at the VAs benefits page, or check out our post on How Much Is VA Disability for 2021 compensation rates. We discuss rates for 2002 at this post: 2022 Military Disability Pay Chart

    Seek Help And Treatment From The Va And Other Military Resources

    The Most Common PTSD Symptoms in Military Veterans

    While friends and family can be helpful to veterans with PTSD, there are more advanced services and treatment options offered by the VA and other military organizations to help former service members facing this condition.

    The VA offers extensive inpatient and outpatient treatment services across the U.S. These services can range from initial evaluations of potential PTSD and suggested treatment options to specialized health services, including substance abuse treatment, anger management treatment and programs for female veterans. The VA also offers various forms of therapy to veterans, including family therapy, in which friends and loved ones can participate. On the organizations website, the VA offers both a directory and a map that shows where PTSD resources are available by state.

    There are additional resources like Outward Bound, an organization that provides wilderness courses and programs to build leadership and confidence among participants, which offers a specialized program for veterans. The Mission Continues is another organization that provides veterans leadership and advocacy opportunities in their local communities, helping give former service members a sense of purpose and aiding them in the transition to civilian life.

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    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.

    Ptsd Symptoms: Five Ptsd Assessment Questions To Ask Yourself

    According to the Department of Veterans Affairs official site, those who answer yes to three or more of the following questions should definitely seek help for PTSD symptoms or related problems:

  • Have you experienced nightmares about a traumatic event or thought about the event when you didnt want to?
  • Have you tried to push thoughts of the trauma out of your mind or try not to think about the event? Do you go out of your way to avoid situations that reminded you of the trauma?
  • Do you notice yourself being constantly on guard, watchful, or easily startled?
  • Do you feel numb, detached, or disinterested from people, activities, or surroundings?
  • Have you ever experienced guilt or blame yourself or other people for the traumatic event or the problems that may have resulted from it?
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    What Is The Average Disability Rating For Ptsd

    The average PTSD rating in 2020 was 70%. Overall, 53.81% of veterans with a PTSD rating are either rated at 50% or 70%. Also in 2020, 1,754,644 veterans had a PTSD rating between 0% and 100%.

    21.9% of all disabled veterans receiving disability compensation from the VA have a service-connected rating for PTSD of 0% or higher. 59.3% of all veterans with a VA mental health rating are rated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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