Any person can experience a life-changing, traumatic event that can eventually cause post-traumatic stress disorder. However, veterans are especially at risk for this medical condition. Being deployed into combat, stationed in dangerous locations, exposed to life-threatening incidents, and faced with the hardships of war and personal injury can create mental and emotional stress that may manifest into PTSD.
While all soldiers may experience combat stress, exhaustion, and feelings of disconnectedness, PTSD is a much more severe condition that requires medical treatment.
You may be experiencing PTSD, if you re-experience a traumatic event through flashbacks, nightmares, or memories that interfere with your day. Other warning signs of PTSD include avoiding people, places, or situations that remind you of the trauma; or feeling emotionally disconnected from other people. Additionally, if you experience sleep problems, feel irritable, have angry outbursts, or participate in reckless behaviors you may be exhibiting symptoms of PTSD.
Certain factors increase your risk of developing PTSD. The risk is greater if the traumatic event involved personal danger or a threat to your life, especially if the threat was prolonged or human-inflicted such as rape or assault. Additionally, if you’ve experienced a traumatic event early in life or have a family history of PTSD, depression, or substance abuse, your risk for suffering from PTSD is higher.
Recovering from PTSD can be a long, gradual process. However, there are many ways to deal with this medical condition to help decrease the anxiety, stress, and tension you feel. Helping others, volunteering, or reaching out to those in need are positive ways to take the focus off your condition. Additionally, exercise, relaxation, and eating well can significantly decrease the symptoms of PTSD.
You can help deal with nightmares, flashbacks, and difficult memories by using a process called dual awareness. When you recall the trauma, you may feel that it’s happening now. However, despite the immediacy of the memory, you’re also aware that the trauma really happened in the past. If you state out loud that you are currently feeling the trauma, but you recognize by looking around that you’re not in danger, you can separate that incident from the present.
If you’re a veteran who suffers from PTSD, you may qualify for VA disability benefits. If you want to file for benefits or if you want to appeal a rating decision, contact us at Cuddigan Law. Our attorneys have been supporting veterans for years, and we’ll carefully examine your case to advise you on the best approach for receiving the maximum in disability benefits. Call us today for a free evaluation of your situation.