Each service member will transition back to civilian life at his or her own pace. Taking off the uniform doesn’t automatically change feelings and behaviors, and the time required to establish a new normal will vary with each veteran.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is characterized by a range of symptoms that can develop following exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor such as witnessing the wounding or death of a fellow soldier or being involved in an improvised explosive device (IED) incident. They can also result from long term exposure to dangerous living conditions, or frequent exposure to events that inspire fear.

Stress reactions at the time of the incident, and immediately afterwards, are normal. If you find that those reactions persist, or if they start up or begin again after months or years, you need to seek treatment for PTSD.

What to look for: