Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Little Known Facts

Most people have at least heard of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, especially when we think about combat veterans or survivors of sexual assault. When we think about the symptoms of PTSD, a lot of times we think about nightmares and flash backs, or maybe panic attacks, but there’s a lot about PTSD that the majority of people don’t know.

For example, while combat and sexual assault are certainly considered stressors that are sufficient to trigger PTSD, any traumatic event may cause symptoms of PTSD to appear. For example, a motor vehicle accident may be a stressor. Watching a friend get hurt in a training accident can be traumatic. The main requirement is that a trauma survivor must be exposed to death, serious injury, or sexual violence, but that doesn’t mean they have to experience it themselves.

PTSD Symptoms

A lot of people think of PTSD symptoms as being limited to nightmares and flashbacks, but there are many ways that PTSD can present itself:

  • Avoiding the evening news or war movies because they make you too irritable.
  • Avoiding crowds.
  • Hypervigilance–always being on edge and ready to see a threat.
  • Outbursts of anger and/or violence, in other words, having a hair trigger.
  • Feeling disconnected from other people, even those you love most, like parents or your spouse.
  • Drinking excessively or using drugs to help you calm down.

Sometimes, PTSD symptoms can be triggered years later by another event or a change in your life. While PTSD is a serious mental health condition, there are treatment options out there. If you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD, contact your local VA regional office for options. If you are not yet service-connected for PTSD and need help applying for VA benefits, call our toll free number at (888) 883-2483, and we may be able to help.