What is PTSD, and Why Are Veterans At Such High Risk of It?

No population in America is at higher risk of suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than veterans. This psychological disorder causes countless problems for those who suffer from it, and veterans in particular can struggle against its effects due to difficulties seeking and obtaining treatment. But what exactly is PTSD, and why are veterans at such high risk of getting it?

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of psychological ailment that is caused by exposure to a terrifying, usually life-threatening event, either by experiencing it yourself or witnessing it happen to someone else. PTSD is commonly seen in veterans, but it is also seen often in survivors of natural disasters, people who experience or witness a violent attack, as well as survivors of sexual assault. Not everyone who goes through those experiences will suffer PTSD, but it never appears without one of these traumatic events.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?

People who suffer from PTSD will outwardly seem agitated or irritable, or may seem anxious and hypervigilant for any potential source of danger. Alternatively, they may become emotionally detached, trying to distance themselves from their emotions, or they may suffer from unwanted, intrusive thoughts. Sufferers tend to be hypersensitive to bright lights or sudden loud noises, and many suffer from nightmares or flashbacks related to their trauma.

Why Do Veterans Suffer From PTSD?

The reason why veterans are so much more likely to suffer from PTSD compared to civilians is simple: they are much more likely to experience the kind of life-threatening situations that cause it to manifest. In addition to the risks of being attacked on the front lines, soldiers often must deal with the trauma of seeing people severely injured, whether in a war zone or in a training accident. Veterans are also disproportionately likely to become victims of sexual assault or abuse while in the military, which can result in the disorder manifesting itself.

What Should You Do if You Get PTSD?

If you find yourself suffering from any of the symptoms related to PTSD, you should seek psychological assistance as soon as possible. Treatment options are available, and they can dramatically improve your quality of life while helping to reduce the effects of symptoms. You may also be able to obtain VA disability benefits as a result of your disorder, which can help cover the costs of treatment and give you a better chance of recovery.

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.

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