Recognizing the signs of PTSD in your Veteran

By now it is no secret that a growing number of returning veterans are suffering from the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. The tricky thing about PTSD is that symptoms sometimes don’t surface for months or even years. Furthermore, symptoms may also come and go. Combine these facts with the prospect that veterans may not recognize a difference in themselves because they have held these symptoms for so long, and what you have is a situation where many of our brave military men and women are going untreated.

If you are the loved one or friend of a veteran, it is important to be able to recognize and acknowledge the symptoms of PTSD in the veteran close to you should they present themselves. By knowing what to look for, you can help your loved one begin to seek the help they need.

Here are a few signs and symptoms that someone suffering from post traumatic stress disorder may exhibit:

  • Vivid memories or flashbacks of traumatic events
  • Feeling as if the event is happening all over again
  • Isolation/Cutting yourself off emotionally from others
  • Losing interest in things you used to care about
  • Depression
  • Feeling anxious or jittery
  • Irritation
  • Panic attacks
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Family issues
  • Frequent use of drugs or alcohol
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others

Have you seen any of these signs in the veteran in our life? If so, broach the subject with that person and recommend they seek help. We know it is not easy, and there is a good chance your overtures will, at least a first, be rejected. Even so, it is vital to begin a dialogue. Left untreated, PTSD will only get worse. Once the subject is out in the open, there is at least a chance that you can help your loved one see the benefits of seeking treatment.

Fortunately, more and more resources for helping veterans with PTSD are available. Recognition of a problem is the first step in solving it, and this is especially true for post traumatic stress disorder. Veterans deserve not only our thanks but also our support once they return home. Should you recognize any of the symptoms listed above in a veteran close to you, strongly encourage them to seek help.

The Center, A Place of Hope located in Edmonds, Washington, specializes in the treatment of PTSD. If you or a loved one believes you might suffer from post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, please call 1-800-240-4354 for a free, confidential call with a licensed specialist.