What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can occur in people who have experienced a life threatening, traumatic event such as a war or combat, a terrorist act, a natural disaster, or sexual assault.
What are some symptoms of PTSD?
Symptoms can be different for each person and can appear months or years after trauma. Nightmares, flashbacks, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, avoiding people or relationships, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, and being easily startled are common symptoms. Depression and suicidal thoughts are common.
How many Veterans are affected?
This can vary based on the campaign, the politics of the era, the theater of operations, assignments and actions within the theater of operations, and other factors such as history of sexual assault or harassment. The VA reports the number of Veterans diagnosed with PTSD for several campaigns:
- Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%)
- Gulf War (Desert Storm): About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%)
- Vietnam War: About 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans will have PTSD in their lifetime.
While these numbers are staggering, many experts agree that PTSD often goes undiagnosed.
What options are there for those dealing with PTSD and their loved ones?*
Thankfully, there is hope and support.
- Organizations like Team Foster help to partner service dogs with veterans living with PTSD. Fact: Service Dog Save Lives.
- Psychotherapy and medications, available both through the VA and in the private sector.
- Apps, such as
- PTSD Coach – designed for those who have or may have PTSD and includes a self-assessment tool. Other tools include relaxation skills, anger management, and music integration. No identifiable data is collected
- PTSD Family Coach – designed for family members of those living with PTSD. This app provides information on PTSD and tools for self- and family-care.
- Beyond MST – designed for those who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST). This app has over 30 tools to help users find inspiration and support on their journey to wellness. No identifiable data is collected and there is an option to enable a PIN lock for extra privacy.
- VetChange – designed for those worried about how their alcohol use relates to stress. No identifiable data is collected
- Mindfulness Coach – designed to help practice mindfulness to assist with PTSD symptoms. No identifiable data is collected.
*Team Foster has no affiliation with the providers, organizations or businesses mentioned. This is not an endorsement of these services.