Up to 20% of veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and two-thirds do not seek treatment.Â While PTSD is prevalent among people who have been to combat, that is not the only cause.Â Traumatic events, accidents, or even the death of a loved one, can cause PTSD, and up to 7.7 million Americans are affected by it.
- Symptoms of PTSD can appear days, weeks, months or even years after a traumatic event.
- PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, anxiety, anger, depression, emotional numbness, and nightmares
- Service members with PTSD sometimes do not seek treatment because they fear it will hurt their careers, people will lose respect for them, or they are concerned about the cost of treatment, among other things.
- If service members have symptoms and do not seek help, sometimes their behavior can negatively impact their family relations and career.
People with PTSD often suffer alone-even as the impact of their injury is felt in their family and community.Â M&FS, Behavioral Health Branch, Counseling Services wants to make sure that no one with PTSD suffers alone and is therefore encouraging people to take an online, anonymous, mental health screening at www.MindBodyStrength.org.
PTSD is a treatable condition, and it is important for everyone, especially those in the military community, to be aware of its prevalence, signs and symptoms.
For more information about PTSD, visit http://militarymentalhealth.org/militaryptsd/.