Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Military Concerns
If you were in the military, you
may have seen combat. You may have been on missions that exposed you to
horrible and life-threatening experiences. You may have been shot at, seen a
buddy shot, or seen death. These are types of events that can lead to
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Other things about a combat situation can add more stress to
an already stressful situation and may contribute to PTSD and other mental
health problems.7 These
things include what you do in the war, the politics around the war, where it's
fought, and the type of enemy you face.
Another cause of PTSD in the military can be
military sexual trauma (MST). This is any sexual
harassment or sexual assault that occurs while you are in the military. MST can
happen to men and women and can occur during peacetime, training, or war.
Many veterans don't seek
treatment for PTSD. You may feel that treatment won't help, or worry about what
people will think. Your military background may add other pressures that keep
you from seeking treatment. You may feel that it will hurt your career, or that
those in your unit will lose faith in you. You may fear that your unit will see
you as weak.
- If you need help deciding to see your doctor,
see some reasons why people don't get help and ways to overcome them.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has many programs
for veterans and their families who are worried about PTSD or related problems.
If you are a veteran, contact your local VA about these resources (http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/where-to-get-help.asp). You can find
help with treatment, jobs, housing, and sexual assault.
One Man's Story:
"Being in the Guard now is like a
mandatory support group, because they've all been there too."—Tim
Read Tim's story.