Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Hines Helpful Tips
Symptoms of PTSD can disrupt your life and cause unwanted problems. Talk to your Hines care team if you think you may have PTSD.
Have you or someone you know:
- Been through combat?
- Lived through a disaster?
- Experienced sexual, physical, or emotional abuse?
- Been in a serious accident?
- Experienced any other kind of traumatic event?
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after someone has been in a traumatic or stressful event (such as those listed above). Men and women of any age can experience PTSD. Most people react to these situations feeling stressed. Sometimes, this stress doesn’t go away on its own. If you have stress from a traumatic event that keeps coming back, or if it has become a problem in your daily life, you may have PTSD.
People who have PTSD may have these symptoms:
- Reliving the event – This is when memories of the traumatic event pop into your head from time to time. You may have nightmares or feel like you are going through it again. This is called a flashback.
- Avoiding situations that remind you of the event – This is when you try to avoid situations, places, or people that bring back memories of the traumatic event.
- Feeling numb – This is when you find it hard expressing your feelings to others. It may be hard to remember the event or talk to others about it. You may “feel numb.”
- Feeling “keyed up” – This is when you feel jittery and try to keep on the lookout for danger. You might suddenly feel angry or annoyed.
Know the truth about PTSD
- Getting help early is best.
- Symptoms of PTSD can get worse.
- Symptoms of PTSD can get in the way of your family life.
- You may find yourself getting angry or violent with your loved ones, or wanting to pull away from them.
- Getting help can improve other health problems.
- You may have symptoms that look like PTSD but are really another mental health problem. Going to your doctor for help may end up improving other areas of your life, especially if you are having symptoms similar to PTSD that disrupt your life.
It’s important to get help for PTSD
Many people who might need help with PTSD are afraid to go for help. A study done on soldiers who returned from Iraq found 6 out of 10 of them said they would get help for mental health problems. Those who didn’t want to get help were worried that:
- Others would think less of them.
- Getting help would hurt their military career.
- They might be seen as weak.
If You Think You May Have PTSD
- Speak with a mental health professional.
- Talk to a close friend or family member. He or she may be able to help.
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