Mental Health

Understanding PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) & Veterans

Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD, is a mental health condition that arises in individuals who have undergone a traumatic event. This condition affects approximately 7% of the American population and is recognized as a natural response to traumas like sexual abuse, physical assault, violence, or severe accidents.

While about eight million adults grapple with PTSD, one specific group is particularly susceptible to this disorder: American veterans. Veterans often find themselves exposed to injuries, fatalities, and other life-threatening situations in both combat and non-combat scenarios. Unfortunately, due to the profound impact of these traumatic experiences, PTSD can endure throughout veterans’ lifetimes.

The Impact of PTSD on Daily Life

For many veterans, the symptoms of PTSD can complicate the transition from military to civilian life. The cognitive and emotional repercussions of the disorder can have an adverse effect on their relationships and career prospects. Because PTSD stems from traumatic incidents, individuals may struggle to recall the details of these events. Those afflicted with PTSD may also grapple with feelings of guilt or shame related to the incident, increased social withdrawal, negative self-perceptions, self-blame, and difficulty accepting positive reinforcement.

Factors Influencing PTSD in the Military

While PTSD affects individuals differently, certain factors may heighten the risk of developing this disorder:

  • Gender: Both men and women are susceptible to military sexual trauma, though women are more likely to experience harassment and unwanted sexual contact.
  • Exposure: Active combat is not the sole trigger for PTSD; other situations, such as visits to military hospitals or learning about a friend’s death secondhand, can also lead to exposure.
  • Access to mental health services: Following their service, some veterans may encounter challenges accessing therapeutic programs, potentially exacerbating their condition.
  • Location and time of service: The location and era in which a veteran served can influence their likelihood of developing PTSD, as certain conflicts pose a higher risk than others. Seeking professional counseling can be a helpful step toward understanding oneself and developing strategies for dealing with mental and emotional difficulties.

Supporting Veterans With PTSD

Veterans encounter various challenges upon their transition to civilian life, including securing employment, pursuing education, and reintegrating into society. Our nation’s heroes may not always receive the support they need, and without such assistance, issues like PTSD can impact their relationships and personal growth.

PTSD is an intrusive disorder that can be challenging to diagnose and treat, as it necessitates direct discussion and confrontation of the trauma. To comprehend someone’s experience with this debilitating disorder, it is crucial to educate oneself about the facts surrounding PTSD and evaluate its severity. For additional statistics, symptoms, and information on PTSD, please refer to our informational resource.

This infographic was created by Veteran Car Donations, donate car to charity


Author bio: Veteran Car Donations is a national organization that accepts vehicle donations to better the lives of veterans. The organization partners with a number of well-known veteran charities to help provide essential medical care, mental health services and more.  

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