Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that affects thousands of veterans.  PTSD can cause the brain to sense stress and danger in even the most benign situations.  Stress and fear take over at unexpected times, causing much mental anguish.

Symptoms of PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts
  • Avoiding places, events or objects that are reminders of the traumatic event
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the traumatic event
  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or on edge
  • Having difficulty sleeping

Diagnosis of PTSD

According to the National Institute of Mental Health in order to be diagnosed with PTSD a person must have all of the following symptoms for at least one month:

  • At least one re-experiencing symptom
  • At least three avoidance symptoms
  • At least two hyperarousal symptoms
  • Symptoms that make it hard to go about daily life, go to school or work, be with friends or family and take care of important tasks.

Treatment of PTSD

Treatments for PTSD generally involve psychotherapy or medications.  These two are often used in conjunctions with one another.  Treatments are dependent on the severity of the symptoms.  Therefore each PTSD sufferer may be treated in different ways.  The list below goes over some treatment options for PTSD.

Psychotherapy (using cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT)

  • Exposure therapy- Helps people face and control their fear. This therapy exposes the patient to the trauma in a safe and controlled manner.
  • Cognitive restructuring- A therapist will help those with PTSD look at what happened in realistic way. Often the traumatic event may be remembered differently than it actually happened.
  • Stress inoculation training- This therapy focuses on reducing anxiety and helps people look at their memories in a healthy way.

Medications (antidepressants)

  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)

We hope that this article and the links within it will help you better understand and deal with the symptoms of PTSD.

If you are a veteran suffering from PTSD and you have been denied VA disability benefits or have received a rating that is too low there is something you can do.  Please allow the experienced representatives at Disability Help Group to fight this battle for you.  We have dedicated our lives and our careers to fighting for the rights of veterans across the country.  You have fought for your country and paid for your service with your mental health; now let our advocates fight for you. 

Contact your Miami and Atlanta VA disability representatives today for your free consultation.