Military Law

Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Did you serve in the military? Do you have anxiety from something that happened during your service time? You may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is an ailment brought on by being in or witnessing a traumatic event. Members of the military are exposed to a wide variety of horrible and scary situations. Some examples include:

  • Terrorist attack
  • Combat operation
  • Torture
  • Death of other military members

Development of PTSD

Some veterans suffer from PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event and some don't. There's no exact reason why. Everyone at one point will have feelings of being angry, confused or scared. The difference is that some people can't let go of these feelings, or they get worse over time.

Symptoms of PTSD

You may be wondering if you're suffering from PTSD. The best way to tell is to examine your symptoms. Symptoms of PTSD can make life difficult and may not occur until years after the traumatic event. There are four types of symptoms:

  • Reliving the event
  • Avoidance of situations
  • Numbness to life
  • Feeling of hypertension

Reliving the Event

Do you continue to have bad memories of the event over and over again? Sometimes a particular sight or sound will set off a flashback of the event. Others will experience violent nightmares. This is a common symptom for people with PTSD.

Avoidance of Situations

Do you avoid certain situations just because they may remind you of the event? Violent TV shows and movies may be too much for a veteran. Newspapers may be avoided because of stories about war or crime. This symptom can stop veterans from doing activities with their friends and family members.

Numbness to Life

Do you have trouble expressing your feelings? Veterans may become numb to many situations in their life in order to avoid bad memories of the event. Relationships with others may be difficult since the veteran can't express loving feelings. Activities you used to love may no longer give you the same enjoyment.

Feeling of Hypertension

Are you always jittery and paranoid of danger? Many veterans can have a feeling of being keyed up. This feeling is also called hyperarousal. The symptom doesn't allow veterans to concentrate or sleep. They may always feel like they're on guard.

Treatment for PTSD

Programs are offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help people with PTSD. You'll be evaluated by professionals, and a treatment plan will be developed that meets your exact needs. Different types of therapy and medicine are available to help you overcome the symptoms you're suffering from.

The VA will provide disability compensation for veterans who suffer from PTSD. To receive these benefits, you must file a formal claim with the VA. You'll have to complete interviews about your social history and any psychological symptoms. There must be medical evidence that shows a link between your symptoms and a traumatic event that occurred during your military service.

The claim process can take several months before you find out if the VA has accepted your claim. If your claim is turned down, you can appeal its decision. However, the appeal process can also take a very long time to complete.

Questions for Your Attorney

  • What are the benefits of having an attorney help me receive any military benefits?
  • How extreme do my symptoms have to be to receive disability compensation for PTSD?
  • What steps do I take to appeal a decision from the VA?
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