What Causes Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or post-traumatic stress syndrome, is a mental health condition that can affect someone both mentally and physically. In order to receive a diagnosis of PTSD, there must be a precipitating traumatic event. You don’t have to experience the traumatic event yourself; you could witness a traumatic event happening to someone else or experience vicarious trauma if the event happened to a loved one.

Military Service and PTSD

Members of the armed forces often put themselves at risk for the sake of their nation. The risk of severe injury is constant, especially in combat or while conducting raids. They may see fellow service members injured or killed. They may have to wound or kill others.

Obviously, combat is a major stressor that can lead to a veteran developing PTSD, but other traumatic events can cause PTSD as well. Military sexual trauma (MST) can also lead to a veteran developing PTSD, which includes both sexual assault and harassment. MST can be exacerbated by the often-infuriating way victims are treated when coming forward with sexual assault or abuse claims.

For many, being overseas and away from home for a long period of time can negatively affect mental health, adding to the stress.

Every Case Is Different

Even when two people experience the same traumatic event, they may respond very differently. Generally speaking, women are more likely to develop the disorder than men, and there is some evidence that there are hereditary factors. PTSD is often accompanied by other mental health conditions, and the appropriate treatment for those conditions can greatly increase the likelihood of successful treatment.

While the exact cause of PTSD is unknown, psychological, physical, and social factors are involved, and PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. PTSD affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between nerves. The more trauma someone has experienced, or the greater the magnitude of that trauma, the more likely it is for that person to develop PTSD.

Do I Have PTSD?

Many military veterans suffer from PTSD, but very few of them are actually diagnosed. A social stigma surrounds veterans who suffer from the disorder, discouraging them from seeking treatment or even admitting they have a problem. Veterans who aren’t physically wounded worry that their PTSD won’t be regarded as legitimate by their peers. Further, some men see PTSD as a threat to their masculinity.

But it is best to receive help. If you served in the military and frequently experience symptoms of PTSD, you very well may suffer from it.

Veterans Serving Veterans

Veterans suffering from PTSD caused or exacerbated by military service have the right to receive compensation from the VA. If you are having trouble getting service connected for PTSD, or if you have a disagreement with your evaluation or the effective date, Berry Law Firm may be able to help.

Berry Law Firm was founded by a veteran, has many veterans among its attorneys and staff, and has been helping veterans increase disability ratings for decades. We understand what it’s like to fight against the VA as a current or former member of the armed services.

If you need to appeal a VA rating decision, contact us today. Your consultation is free.