Veterans are substantially more likely than regular citizens to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, with around 7% of veterans dealing with the disorder. However, a shocking number of veterans never get treated, due in part to not recognizing the symptoms, meaning they do not receive the care or benefits they are otherwise entitled to. Here are seven potential signs of PTSD you should watch out for:
- Severe anxiety
- People suffering from PTSD often suffer from severe anxiety, causing them to constantly worry about potential sources of harm. This can lead them to be mistrustful of others, and often expresses itself as hypervigilance, meaning they are constantly on the lookout for danger, no matter the situation.
- Feelings of guilt or loneliness
- Victims of PTSD also tend to suffer feelings of guilt or loneliness related to their trauma, which can cause (or be caused by) social isolation. They also tend to lose interest in activities they once found pleasurable.
- Irritability or hostility
- People with PTSD can often become increasingly irritable or hostile towards others, often without reason. This is potentially a reflection of their anxiety about being exposed to danger, leading them to treat others with unnecessary aggression.
- Another common feature of PTSD is hypersensitivity towards loud noises, bright lights, and other sudden or intense stimuli. They also tend to react poorly to anything that reminds them of their trauma, which may trigger a flashback.
- Flashbacks are a somewhat unique feature of PTSD, where someone will find themselves suddenly reliving their traumatic experiences, believing they are back in the situation that caused their trauma. While most flashbacks only last a few seconds or minutes, some may last for hours or even days, depending on their severity.
- Insomnia and nightmares
- Unsurprisingly, many people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder tend to have trouble sleeping at night, and often suffer from exhaustion as a result. This is partly due to anxiety, and also partly due to nightmares, which are another common feature of PTSD.
- Intrusive thinking
- Victims of PTSD often deal with unwanted thoughts, known as intrusive thinking, where they find themselves unable to stop thinking about something disturbing or unpleasant. No matter how hard they try to distract themselves or push it out of their mind, they cannot stop thinking about it, which tends to make them increasingly upset. If this sounds like you, it may be time to seek treatment and consider applying for VA disability benefits.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.