Dealing With PTSD

If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, understanding the disorder and learning to use available resources to manage the condition can aid significantly in coping and recovery.

PTSD can happen to anyone.

Just as anyone can return from battle with a physical injury, anyone can return from combat with PTSD.

Be patient.

Recovery takes time, even with treatment.

Anticipate PTSD triggers.

Common triggers include anniversary dates, and people or places associated with the original trauma. Certain sights, sounds or smells–like the odor of diesel fumes or the shouts of children playing–can take a veteran back to a street in Baghdad where a traumatic event occurred. Recognizing the triggers that may cause an upsetting reaction, and preparing yourself for exposure to them, will put you in a better position to manage your own condition, to be in charge yourself.

Speak out.

Learning to talk about your experience has not only been found to be beneficial to you, telling your story will help other veterans realize they are not alone, and that others are taking positive steps to minimize PTSD’s impact on their daily lives.

Additional Resources:

www.mentalhealth.va.gov
Click here for the National Center for PTSD presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and a series of links about PTSD for veterans, the general public and mental health providers/researchers.

www.familydoctor.org
Click on this link presented by the American Academy of Family Physicians for a formal definition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including the risks and symptoms of PTSD. The site includes insightful videos that discuss treatment of PTSD and other anxiety disorders.