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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

More Information

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that may occur after an individual has experienced a traumatic event. Symptoms include:

  • Nightmares
  • Reliving the experience
  • Hypervigilance
  • Feeling distant from friends and family

 

5% of men and 10% of women will experience PTSD at some point in their life. In contrast, 30% of Vietnam Veterans, 10% of Gulf War Veterans, and 15% of OEF and OIF Veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Veterans who experience a traumatic event (i.e., combat, physical assault, serious accident) may have initial feelings of fear, anger and confusion. For many people, these symptoms resolve within weeks or months.

PTSD is diagnosed when these feelings do not subside, or they get worse. It is important to get treatment for these symptoms because they may lead to drinking and drug use, trouble sleeping, irritability, and angry outbursts. Eventually, PTSD may interfere with work, family relationships, and social life.