Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD can lead to a risk of suicide. Getty Images
PTSD can lead to a risk of suicide. Getty Images

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder can occur following a life-threatening event like military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people have stress reactions that don't go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD.

People who suffer from PTSD often suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, and feeling emotionally numb. These symptoms can significantly impair a person's daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear physical and psychological symptoms. It often has symptoms like depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other physical and mental health problems. The disorder is also associated with difficulties in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

If you are suffering from PTSD, or know someone who is, the following list of resources and information will help you find help in dealing with PTSD and related conditions.

Each VA medical center has PTSD specialists who provide treatment for Veterans with PTSD. Plus, the VA provides nearly 200 specialized PTSD treatment programs. A referral is usually needed to access the specialty programs. You can use this VA PTSD Program Locator to see if there is a specialized program near you.

NOTE: If you are in crisis dial 911 or 800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Other VA provided information on PTSD

  • What is PTSD? Find out about the symptoms of PTSD and how they develop.
  • Symptoms of PTSD Learn about PTSD symptoms and when to get help..
  • How Common is PTSD? Find out how many people have PTSD and who is most likely to develop PTSD.
  • Treatment of PTSD Describes the treatments shown to be effective for PTSD and what you can expect from your therapist.
  • What Can I Do if I Think I Have PTSD? Learn what to do and answer an questionaire to see if you need to be assessed by a professional.
  • Understanding PTSD Treatment View this interactive module about PTSD treatment options. A companion to Understanding PTSD, it has full color photos and videos of clinicians who provide care. It can help overcome any myths you might have about PTSD treatment.
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