• Regina Rhodes

Understanding a Veteran with PTSD and PTSD Resources

Individuals suffering from PTSD often have flashbacks of the traumatic event, distressing dreams, and other terrifying thoughts. They may also develop flightly or avoidance symptoms whereby they purposely stay away from anything that reminds them of the experience. This can mean avoiding certain places and objects that serve as a reminder of what they’ve experienced.

Military service puts veterans and currently serving military members at an elevated risk of experiencing or witnessing trauma.

Combat is not the only cause of PTSD symptoms. Any trauma may result in PTSD including sexual assault, sexual harassment, and related issues. 23% of military women report sexual assault during their career in uniform.

PTSD may manifest itself over time. You may not recognize the symptoms as being PTSD-related at first or without the help of someone trained to spot the warning signs.

Understand the Symptoms

PTSD symptoms may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Reliving the trauma or having intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event

  • Avoiding places, events, or experiences that remind you of the trauma

  • Hypervigilance, feeling unable to relax, always “keyed up” or on edge, irritability with no specific or rational cause, etc.

  • Nightmares, sleep disturbances, inability to sleep, other sleep-related problems

I am not there, because I never left Afghanistan.” ― Jake Wood, Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken By War

Helping Veterans with PTSD

1. Familiarize yourself with PTSD treatment options.

Two types of treatment have been shown to be effective for treating PTSD: counseling and medication. In recent years, researchers have dramatically increased our understanding of what causes PTSD and how to treat it. Familiarize yourself with what’s available so you can talk with your loved one about treatment options.

2. Encourage your loved one to talk with other Veterans who have experienced trauma or mental health challenges.

Professional support from your local VA can include working with Peer Specialists and participating in counseling for family members or group therapy sessions. A Peer Specialist is a person with a mental health condition who has been trained and certified to help others overcome their mental health challenges.

3. Explore these resources for Veterans experiencing PTSD.

If the Veteran in your life is ready to take the next step in dealing with PTSD, finding a trained professional is a great idea. Receiving treatment as soon as possible can keep symptoms from getting worse — and can shed new light on how to manage PTSD symptoms.

How We Can Assist: Veteran's Family Services

Getting counseling or treatment can help you manage your symptoms and keep them from getting worse. We provide one-time bus passes for veterans who have obtained employment but lack transportation. We also provide veterans with interview attire when applying for a job.

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