Veteran Rescue offers education about PTSD and therapy options to cope with it. Learn here and about the services we offer.
What is PTSD?
According to Military Pathways, it is estimated that 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 10% of Gulf War Veterans, and 30% of Vietnam Veterans experience PTSD symptoms. Of the general American population 2.2% of the American population, ~ 7.7 million people, may have PTSD symptoms.
PTSD symptoms caused by witnessing or participating in a traumatic event can affect two people, standing side by side, differently. PTSD is rarely cured; it can be treated. Whether acute,â€™ chronic, or delayed, effective treatments can vary from wounded warrior to wounded warrior.
Physical, behavioral, and/or emotional symptoms can be helped tremendously by the presence of a well trained PTSD Working Support Dog. Anxiety, panic, fear, irritability, depression, withdrawal, isolation, hyper-vigilance, loss of trust, nightmares, reoccurring flashbacks, phobias of crowds, phones, email, stores, buildings, vehicles, unfamiliar people, insomnia, fatigue, pounding heart, migraines, difficulty concentrating, paranoia, sleepwalking, suicidal thoughts, anti social behavior, suspicion, poor self esteem are but some of the symptoms where a PTSD Working Support Dog has proved useful.
From VA’s National Center For PTSD
Words from Our Experts
For PTSD Awareness Day we asked experts at the National Center for PTSD what they would tell someone about PTSD. Here is what they had to say:
- Just because someone experiences a traumatic event does not mean they have PTSD.
- Emotional responses to unexpected or life threatening events are common.
- Strong social support following a traumatic event is one of the best predictors of who does well following trauma.
On PTSD treatment
- PTSD treatment can help. Getting help early can prevent problems from getting worse.
- Treatment is important for the person experiencing PTSD, yet it also helps the family and improves relationships.
- No matter how long it’s been since your trauma, there’s good reason to think that you can get better.
Getting help is problem solving, not a sign of weakness. Take the step.
Learn from Others
Visit AboutFace, an online video gallery of Veterans talking about living with PTSD and how treatment turned their lives around.
National Center for PTSD MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT PTSD
Despite how common PTSD is, both inside and outside of the military, many myths and misperceptions about the condition persist.
Nightmares, hyper-vigilance, a feeling of always being on-edge, and the resulting short-temper and disconnection from those around you; these are just a few of the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which will affect 8 percent of the American population as a whole in their lifetime. Despite how common PTSD is, both inside and outside the military, many myths and misperceptions about the condition persist. In this first of a two part series, we help separate fact from fiction.
1. PTSD isn’t real, it’s all in their heads: PTSD is a very real reaction to witnessing or experiencing trauma, and does not always develop right away, sometimes manifesting hours, days, months or years afterwards, and can re-emerge after recovery, triggered by events such as anniversaries of the trauma. It is a change to how the brain functions and how you view the world. As such, PTSD as a whole has sometimes been explained as a way in which you process the trauma, learning from it and working through it after the danger has passed and survival mode is no longer limiting your perspectives.
2. Only weak people get PTSD: False! Even the strongest of people can suffer from PTSD. Indeed, several military leaders and Medal of Honor recipients have come forward to let others know that they had PTSD and have recovered.
3. If you haven’t been wounded, then you shouldn’t have PTSD: You don’t need to have been wounded to suffer from PTSD, as it often manifests itself after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. One prime example of this was the civilians who were part of the September 11th rescue crews who developed PTSD following months of picking through rubble to locate bodies, even though they weren’t physically harmed.
4. If PTSD were real, then everyone who has experienced a trauma would have it: Not everyone who experiences or witnesses a traumatic event will suffer from PTSD, as research indicates that each individual exposed to a trauma has their own set of risk factors for potentially developing PTSD, some of which are genetics, past history of other traumas and the degree or duration of their exposure to traumatic events. It is important to emphasize here that while not all people will develop PTSD in response to a trauma; this makes it no less real or valid for those who do experience it.
If you or someone you know is or might be suffering from PTSD, don’t be afraid to reach out and make the connection. Resources from the National Directory (NRD),the Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as well as the Services’ wounded warrior programs: Navy Safe Harbor, Army Wounded Warrior (AW2), Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2), the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (USMCWWR) and the USSOCOM Care Coalition can help get you started on your way to recovery. In addition, check this blog as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information and tips about PTSD throughout the rest of the month. Finally, there is hope: PTSD does not and will not define you, and with some help, it is a hurdle that you can and will overcome.
MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT PTSD
According to Harold Cohen, PH.D
MYTH: PTSD is only seen in people with â€˜weak charactersâ€™ who are unable to cope with difficult situations in the same way that most of us do.
FACT: PTSD is a human response to markedly abnormal situations, and it involves specific chemical changes in the brain that occur in response to a person experiencing a traumatic event. Many of the symptoms of PTSD seem to be a direct result of such brain changes.
MYTH: All of us have been through frightening experiences and have a least one symptom of PTSD as a result of that experience.
FACT: Thought memories of frightening experiences may be similar to symptoms of PTSD, most persons do not have the severity of symptoms or impairment associated with PTSD. The specific brain based responses seen in PTSD differ from those seen in normal anxiety. Similarly, the experiences of normal anxiety and of PTSD are markedly different.
MYTH: Stress reactions to trauma exist, but these should not be considered as a serious medical problem.
FACT: PTSD is a medical disorder that can sometimes cause serious disability. Persons with PTSD often also have co-occurring mood, anxiety, and substance-related disorders. In addition, these people may have significant difficulty at their job, in their personal relationships or other social interactions.