Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: How You Can Help Veterans Suffering from This Mental Condition
What is PTSD?
Almost everyone must have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and how it can heavily affect certain individuals and their loved ones. This mental condition has become quite common in the country, with approximately 24.4 million people suffering from it any given time, according to authorities.
Anyone can get PTSD, even young children. What’s even more worrisome is the fact that it can last a lifetime, especially when left untreated.
The disorder stems from traumatic or life-threatening events, such as natural disasters, sexual assault, abuse, getting kidnapped, mugging, and engaging in combat. Witnessing someone die or getting hurt may also be a contributing factor.
Post-traumatic stress disorder generally affects the overall wellbeing of the sufferers. Sleepless nights occur frequently. They become jumpy and startle easily. Their work is affected, and relationships are damaged. Since these affected men and women find it difficult to cope with their everyday lives, many of them resort to taking alcohol or drugs, eventually leading to substance abuse.
PTSD Signs and Symptoms You Need to Know
Symptoms typically emerge right after a traumatic incident, although it depends on the severity of the event. There are instances where symptoms surface weeks, months, or even years after one such incident. Here are the symptoms to watch out for:
- Negative feelings and beliefs
Many sufferers of this mental disorder develop a low sense of self-worth after experiencing trauma, especially when it involves abuse and rape. They find it hard to enjoy the hobbies they used to do, and pleasant things no longer seem to excite them. They may even develop paranoid thinking.
- Having flashbacks
Reliving the distressing event is a common symptom of Post-traumatic stress disorder. People who experience flashbacks may feel as if they are reliving the event once again. Flashbacks are mostly caused by triggering factors such as hearing loud noises, witnessing a scene that resembles the event or being in the exact place in which the incident happened.
- Avoiding situations or people that may remind you of the event
Individuals suffering from this psychological disorder tend to avoid being in places or being with people that may prompt them to relive memories of the incident. Some would even prefer to isolate themselves altogether, fearing that they might encounter a similar episode again. As a result, relationships with their loved ones are often affected.
PTSD sufferers may become more vigilant after experiencing a traumatic event. They may get irritated easily over the slightest of things, and they may quickly get frightened by hearing small noises. Difficulty in sleeping and concentrating are also symptoms of hyperarousal.
If any of these symptoms persist for more than a month, individuals need to be diagnosed to check if they have PTSD.
PTSD and Veterans
It’s not surprising to know that thousands of our former military men and women have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, considering all the horrific events they witnessed on the battlefield during their overseas deployment. PTSD is known as the third most prevalent psychological diagnosis among U.S. veterans.
Engaging in combat where they expose themselves to life-threatening situations is basically what our troops do for a living. Getting severely injured, witnessing their comrades get killed, and killing enemy combatants are among the factors that can lead to PTSD. Military sexual trauma (MST) has also been regarded as a factor to the mental disorder.
Support Organizations for Vets with PTSD
If you know of people who have served in the military and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, you can refer them to the following nonprofit organizations that provide free services:
Located in Oklahoma City, this nonprofit is devoted to supporting active military personnel and veterans struggling with PTSD and other combat-related disorders. The organization focuses on spiritual healing, counseling, and other related services to help sufferers get back on their feet.
This organization is focused on the concept of spiritual healing as a way of treating post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. Other services of Point Man Ministries include community support, group meetings, hospital visits, conferences, as well as forums for veteran groups and churches.
Previously known as Not Alone, Courage Beyond is a nonprofit that offers support programs and services to veterans with PTSD at no cost. It is an online community where vets gather together and share their experiences. Community members can speak out freely since everything is kept confidential.
- Ghost Rider Foundation (GRF)
The GRF is a nonprofit that aims to fully assist PTSD-afflicted veterans in the northeast Ohio area.
Project Josiah gives veterans the opportunity to help out their fellow veterans by bringing them together. These former military men and women gather to empower one another.
Based in Chicago, Houston, San Diego, and the New York Metro area, this program is designed to offer free and confidential treatment for 9/11 veterans. Headstrong gives vets the chance to work with top trauma therapists in the country.
An organization that addresses the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans, PTSD Foundation of America aims to give veterans the assistance they need.
Situated in North Carolina, Homes for Healing caters to veterans with PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury). It is committed to improving the lives of the affected men and women.
The NCPTSD intends to advance the social welfare and medical care of our veterans by educating them about PTSD and other stress-related disorders. The center also provides videos and fact sheets regarding trauma and mental condition.
This site provides all the information veterans and their loved ones should know about the disorder, including solutions to handle certain issues caused by PTSD.
This website allows vets and their families to find a nearby VA PTSD program.
Help Veterans Overcome PTSD with a Car Donation Today
It’s disheartening that many of our heroes have fallen victim to this devastating illness. However, their medical condition can still be remedied, and you can play a key role in this regard. You can improve the well-being of our veterans with the simple gesture of donating an old vehicle to Veteran Car Donations.
Through car donations from concerned and generous individuals, our nonprofit organization partners have been providing much-needed assistance to our former troops, including counseling and trauma therapy.
A car that you no longer need can mean the world to our veterans with PTSD. If you’ve always wanted to serve our brave soldiers and veterans, now is a perfect time. Make a donation now by calling us at 877-594-5822.
For more information about us, feel free to check out our FAQs page.