PTSD Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions

National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
PTSD Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions

What is PTSD?

PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months.

If it's been longer than a few months and you're still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.


Who develops PTSD?

PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person's control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.


How common is PTSD?

Here are some facts (based on the U.S. population):

  • About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
  • About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%). Learn more about women, trauma and PTSD.

Personal factors, like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender, can affect whether or not a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.

Learn more: How Common is PTSD?


What are the symptoms of PTSD?

There are four type of PTSD symptoms: reliving the event (nightmares, flashbacks, or triggers), avoiding situations that remind you of the event, negative changes in beliefs and feelings, and feeling keyed up (hyperarousal). Symptoms may not be exactly the same for everyone. PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

Learn more: Symptoms of PTSD


What can I do if I think I have PTSD?

The only way to know for sure if you have PTSD is to talk to a mental health care provider. Take the Self-Screen for PTSD (PC-PTSD-5), to learn if your symptoms suggest you should talk to a provider.

Read What Can I Do If I Think I Have PTSD? for more information on how to seek help and why it matters.


Will people with PTSD get better?

"Getting better" means different things for different people. There are many different treatment options for PTSD. For many people, these treatments can get rid of symptoms altogether. Others find they have fewer symptoms or feel that their symptoms are less intense. Your symptoms don't have to interfere with your everyday activities, work, and relationships.


What treatments are available for PTSD?

There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling or talk therapy) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy for PTSD

Psychotherapy, or counseling, involves meeting with a therapist.

  • Trauma-focused psychotherapy, which focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning, is the most effective treatment for PTSD. There are different types of trauma-focused psychotherapy, such as:
    • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) where you learn skills to understand how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings. Changing how you think about the trauma can change how you feel.
    • Prolonged Exposure (PE) where you talk about your trauma repeatedly until memories are no longer upsetting. This will help you get more control over your thoughts and feelings about the trauma. You also go to places or do things that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they remind you of the trauma.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which involves focusing on sounds or hand movements while you talk about the trauma. This helps your brain work through the traumatic memories.

Medications for PTSD

Medications can be effective too. Some specific SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), which are used for depression, also work for PTSD. These include sertraline, paroxetine, fluoxetine, and venlafaxine.

IMPORTANT: Benzodiazepines and atypical antipsychotics should generally be avoided for PTSD treatment because they do not treat the core PTSD symptoms and can be addictive.


Who do I contact for help with PTSD? How do I locate specialists or support groups for PTSD?


How can I help a family member who has PTSD?

It is important to learn about PTSD so you can understand why it happened, how it is treated, and what you can do to help. But you also need to take care of yourself. Changes in family life are stressful, and taking care of yourself will make it easier to cope. Learn more: Helping a Family Member Who Has PTSD


As a professional, I need to locate a specific assessment instrument for PTSD. How do I do that?

Proper assessment of trauma exposure and PTSD is best accomplished with validated measures. You will find information and online courses about assessment tools and best practices on the National Center for PTSD website, here: PTSD Information for Professionals: Assessment Overview. There you will find information on a variety of measures assessing trauma and PTSD. These measures are intended for use by qualified mental health professionals and researchers. Measures authored by the National Center for PTSD staff are available as direct downloads or by request. Measures developed outside of the National Center can be requested via contact information available on the information page for the specific measure. See a list of all measures or see Using PILOTS for Assessment Information.

Posted on BrainLine November 28, 2017. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

From the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs. www.ptsd.va.gov.

Comments (108)

I have Complex PTSD, and I have had a change martazpine. I also given chlorpromazine for Flashbacks as I self harmed afterwards. I was given 25mg and still the flashbacks happen. Am I on the wrong dose?

My mother has PTSD and I live with her as I am underaged. She hasn’t done anything to get better and I was wondering if this makes me more likely to get PTSD?

Josie, unless you have had a serious traumatic event you will not get PTSD. You can help her by reading about PTSD and it's symptoms. Once you understand what contributed to her PTSD you'll know how to provide care that will help her. Best to you.

Someone very close to me has severe PTSD ,and he's constantly taking his guilt out on me, not in a violent manner of course , but just treats me like he hates me and gives me the silent treatment constantly.
I know it's not really him , it's his disorder compelling him to say such things. now what I'd like to know is when he acts like he's mad at me, he's really truly mad at himself right?

Seeking treatment, and being understood, doesn't always happen. I can't explain myself to someone, even a professional, because PTSD makes me easily trigged - 0 to 100 faster than I can blink, and the creature who I become to survive when I'm pushed into that mindset obviously doesn't like me, either, as self-aware I'm "doing it again" and cognitive therapy has taught me about the inner critic is a learned behavior. So it's a struggle.

And so I have questions, having been told by 3 (two were poorly trained..not sure about the last...but she's handling my meds right now) professionals when I have a PTSD moment and break down and cry that "There's no need for crying. Your PTSD isn't as bad as others."

I am very high functioning. Until I am not.
And the last time I was hospitalized, it's because i went into a counselor already triggered, and she said the same thing after only knowing me for 15 minutes. "Your PTSD isnt as bad as others."

...It makes me feel like they're patronizing me. It makes me feel like they think i'm lying about my depression. Until I'm ready to kill myself, no one takes me seriously, and i'm trying to fight this thing!!!

Has anyone else been in this situation? It's not helpful, but the second I feel like I'd say something, they're gonna say it's me, and i'll be back in the same damn position. How do you cope? What would you do?

We all struggle. I'm in tears beause I wouldn't want ANYONE to feel this way. I know the hurt so well, I don't see why, why why "your ptsd isn't as bad as others" has room in a behavioral health situation. Because everyone hurts different, and we can't see how deep it is. Even Autistic Spectrum folks have handicaps, but amazing abilities. Just because you have a pretty face, a strong jaw, a badge, metal of honor, money, people around you doesn't mean you're not struggling to live with Pavalovian Human Condition. Trying to define yourself and bring purpose to your own life isn't easy, even if you are polite and kind to others. I personally can't bring myself to be nasty to someone! I know the other end too well, and I'm trying to forget it!

How do you handle when the professionals try to fit you in a time slot, a diagnosis, or whatever they assume when they look at you? How do you do it?

I am so sorry for you.I have been struggling eleven years now.the mental health system is a nightmare within itself.A social worker or msw councelor is not trained to treat us,because they don't know us.They don't live with us,so they don't see our behavior.A psychiatrist is the only one,but a lot of them don't take our insurance,they can give meds,and treatment,but avoidance of triggers with no excuses is all we can do.I try to go to the same places.The medication makes me forgetful,forgiveness does not work,talking about it does not work,selfcaare and firm boundaries work.A church that is quiet works,but I go late and leave early.The constant negative thinking drives me mad.Once the brain is damaged it is damaged.It doesn't matter if yours is worse than others or not,you are an individual.If I hear screaming,yelling,certain words,smells,I react badly.I do not do drugs or alcohol,no criminal background,and cannot be around people that do,plain and simple,for life.I cannot volunteer or micro manage.Sometimes pills make it worse.I listen to wholesome music,and avoid movies the news tv and speaking or sharing when I don't want to.

Echo0fVision, I get it. There are very few therapists that are specifically trained in PTSD. Im lucky that I found one who has spent his life pursuing it, reading about it, talking only to PTSD patients. He even readily admits that "these other guys" they just don't get it. He's seen enough of it that he does get it. He's tried some amazing group therapy sessions and it was like catching lightning in a bottle. We all have each other to talk to now, as well as him. I would search for specific therapists that deal with only PTSD, and interview them. Yes, you ask the questions first. See if you click with them. As soon as I met my doc and he said something like "Listen, we're gonna get through this shit together, and it's gonna be shitty, I won't lie." I was like, This is my guy. Good luck, hang in there. Find others and speak to them. new friends with the same problems help a lot. we all understand each other, and we don't judge.

I lucked out as a child and spent 9 months with an amazing counselor, the type you could call at 2 a.m. because the memories were pulling you deeper into "the rabbit hole". He wasn't the type that went by a book, he experienced trauma himself. Prior and after him I found most counselors were not like him and didn't really understand.

My response to anyone who tells someone suffering from PTSD that "your ptsd isn't as bad as others" is that they can not judge that. Every person is different, some people are able to deal with traumatic experiences like they are nothing - others walk away having given up a part of their soul it feels.

I have told many people with ptsd (caused by different kinds of trauma) that I won't hide from what happened. That I refuse to allow the events that happened to me to define me, the past only has the power I want it to have.. In the end we need to remember we are the ones with the power in this moment, we can choose how much power it can retain. We can let the past trauma to break us and never come back from the rabbit hole because we are consumed by the dark - take a breathe - and embrace the light at the end of the tunnel.

I know the pain your in and fully understand your frustration. No one has the right to say my experience wasn't "enough" - I am me - I face my demons - not them. I still have flashbacks, I will always have triggers - but I do try to reduce the control they have over me.

I have completely understood the cost of being with a combat vet. I happen to be a woman who knows and no matter the stress or war your vet and u take on together! (After there return) or like me I chose this man when he felt no woman could love understand or stay because of Tbi and Ptsd. He went in knowing what very well could happen. Spent 10 years homeless denying anything was wrong to much pride as in basic sickness or anything of the sort was weakness and looked down on! He did not want to bring shame to the uniform and what it stands for. But never understood why ppl were afraid of him and family thought he lost it. Only made this wonderful man suffer more not understanding its ok to b hurt in combat. His incredibly intelligent brain lights up like a Christmas tree. But never calling himself a hero only he was proud to serve for his country. I am extremely disappointed in the va for not testing every man that comes home that was bombed or around active fire...burn pits... and so on solders should b treated as gold for putting there life on the line for us the min they step foot .... like a complete medical the spa treatment at the very least! Then should b given a home tax free... no honorable combat vet should ever have to worry about a home!!! Or health care!!! But not 1 man who came back different hurt then lost wife's cuz the woman... could not deal or know what or how to help there man only made it worse for them.... well i see no cowardly vet only a vet left behind and as a civilian I thought there were no vets left behind.???? And there needs to b classes woman take while her soldier is protecting us all so when he returns she knows how 2 help not make it worse for them. But never call these men a coward that only makes you one.

This letter explains so much the way it is for combat vets wives. My husband was I Hamburger Hill in Nam. I have his letters from Nam which explains the trauma he was going thru he received a Bronze star with V device for saving his unit under direct fire . When he came home he was not the same. Never talked about the war and the stuff that he wrote home about. He was so quick to anger. He couldn’t ever rest and had to be doing something all the time non stop. It was as though he hated me he never seemed to want anything to go well for me. I on the other hand knocked myself out everyday to make sure that I did everything in my power to make all things good for him because I knew the consequences and the crazy fits he was capable of. He was extremely jealous of my every move I took more abuse than most women would have ever taken. I loved him but I also hated the way he had become to be. I was always in the middle of him and my kids because I had to be. He passed away just before our 26 wedding anniversary he suffered from a cancer VA Denys for 3.5 years it was a horrible battle and he knew the outcome was death and he would not be there for his four kids and four small grandkids. Myself I blocked the severity I thought he was bigger and tougher than God. I seriously never seen the end coming. I wonder now how could I have blocked that. I am not sorry for the fact that I wanted and made sure he had whatever he wanted and needed in life because that became my way of life to keep peace in our home as stable as I could. The biggest thing that I regret and it haunts me daily is that I truly didn’t understand why he was so radical and why we were living a hate/Love relationship. I now understand the hell he was battling inside of hisself from the conflicts of war and it wasn’t all his fault. He died 22 years ago at the age of 47 battling in my eyes a worse battle than Nam and Hamburger Hill. I regret that I didn’t realize sooner that he suffered deeply from PTSD and it wasn’t him at all doing these horrible things it was the effects of his battles in Vietnam

My question is about chronic pain associated with PTSD. With successful treatment can you ever overcome the chronic pain?
Years ago (30+) I was given a surmise that my outcome for the future was poor. Of course it was in the early years of my pain and I didn’t believe what all the Dr said. I didn’t take to heart her diagnosis. Now of course so many years later I am in total agreement. So I hope there’s good news and with treatment that my prognosis will be good.

I never had problems with VA. They gave me a 100 percent rating less than a year after I got out of the army. I'm just saying that because I don't understand if you have a real claim with VA. They never gave me a problem with my 30 plus conditions but then I lost my memory before and after I joined the army. I didn't remember my family except for my brother and sister, no friends or dad or mom.

Okay, I'm just saying I wish I never developed PTSD and received TBI from the 30 RPG that landed a few feet from me but I didn't care because I was getting meds and many other treatments. Now I'm upset because the VA dropped the previous treatment plans saying meds are bad, get them off. I have a phys degree and I can't research their case studies for the papers way???? VA said I can't have physical therapy because it's not a long-term treatment for pain but they put me on 100 mg of opiates a day no problem. I stop the opiates and I'm not on meds I need to be but most doctors at VA can't give the correct meds or scared of not being employed, so what happened? With VA the government doing their own case studies and not taking others into theirs.

I read your post and I am so sorry. I wish I could help you. I understand what chronic pain is and I also understand what it's like for doctors taking away those painkillers because they're afraid of the government along with the penalties and God knows what else they have threatened doctors with in the civilian sector. I hope you get some kind of answer and help, true help, that will stop your symptoms all together.
I want to thank you for your service to this country as well as to protecting my family in America. I only wish that I could help you as much as you have given this country.
I will never forget your post...

I never had any problems with getting my 100% rating from VA, but I was a MSG Medic, so I knew a little bit about the system. Alot of times what happens is the Soldier who is failing the claim doesn't understand what is needed or fails to provide a complete claim with full explanation.

jamie - sounds pretty horrible what you are going through - i can tell you being off medicine didn't necessarily make me 'better' BUT the medicine wasn't actually getting rid of stuff - just masking it along with giving me unwanted side effects - and i could feel addiction was literally right around the next corner. the ONLY things that seem to help *(not necess cure - i wish!) are getting outdoors in nature, loving my dog, trying to BREATHE - slowly, eating better, no more booze, vitamins and occasionally meditation music with has been shown to change the brain for the better. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. THERE ARE SO MANY WALKING RIGHT BESIDE YOU - EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T SEE US. GOD'S PEACE AND THANK YOU.

I was held hostage with a knife for 12 hrs before being strangled and beaten where I needed surgery for fractures to my face and devastatingly a stroke. I was diagnosed with PTSD 2 yrs later with flashbacks that he was coming back to finish me off. I can’t stand crowds but mostly sirens ambulances police etc. cause me to freeze and burst into tears. I’ve been in EMDR therapy now for one year and I’m starting to recognize my triggers and learn how to deal with them (breathing techniques, taking myself to calm places). I used to be like a cat in headlights whenever someone knocked on my door where I’ve made a few friends that I can trust. He killed himself two yrs ago and it was like he was no longer here but still wouldn’t leave me alone. I would just like to thank my therapist and if you have the chance to have this therapy. I still have my triggers but I’ve got my life back. I would recommend talk processing. It gets easier over time.

i'm sending you a hug that will last for the rest of you life (all i have to give)

My husband, Vietnam vet, alcoholic, denial, ptsd, mood swings. He has tried alcoholic groups, makes fun of them. Says he's not like those other trailer trash, low ranking idiots. Ptsd, confirmed also by VA. Denies completely. Refuses to take his medication.....uses alcohol instead. Lies and hides constantly. Denies also. Temper, hostile, accusatory, lashes out, has attacked my son for just existing, accuses me of sleeping with everyone. Says I have hired different people to kill him. Had me arrested for smacking him and breaking the tv. Told deputy I was heading for the kitchen to get a knife and kill him. Now he says to everyone and me that I have a proclivity to violence. Threatens me with foolish behavior, like, well you better find someone else to take you to the dr. Skips out on functions. Life beyond four walls is very infrequent, except to visit his son, who is also a combat vet. They drink together. Told off 88 and 95 year old family members to do what he says or he will remove them from his life. Has refused me access to my own medical records concerning my lung cancer. (Resolved) He no longer can take me to Duke. Has yelled at nurse and others at my gp's also. Yelled at me before, during and after about how I took care of my brother and handled his affairs afterwards. Yelled at 1 yr n 1 day later, b4 during, after about how I took care of my sister while she died and after how I handled her affairs. Has yelled at me all during my cancer diagnosis and surgeries and procedures. It's like if it's not everything focused on him, we all are out to get him. He hasn't allowed me to work...I have small ss check. If I leave, I have no insurance for the cancer. Any ideas? Please note, we have barely scratched the surface here. Desperate

pls google 'battered women's syndrome' - no one should have to live in the conditions that you are in - there should be a hotline that will come up when you google - someone will be able to help you. don't give up on hope. God's peace all around you...

I am sorry.......I feel your pain. I finally got out and I am glad and sad. There was so much damage done I now am alone and not one person is here to help. They all say time to help myself. Okay. Now that I really need physical help. All the trauma has almost killed me literally. I will pray for you. Sign up for housing now the waiting lists are horrific.

Yes, leave.

Hey,

Very strange to me to write this. I am Veteran, never took life. Those of you who have or did God bless your spirit. But I saw plenty of it. I saw the horror of war and the aftermath. When I was back on base I took up my normal duties of a military police officer. Like clock work I saw the war continued in returning soldiers from deployment. Anger, violence, domestic abuse, and even homicide and or suicides. I buried it all. Never let it get to me. Now, almost 5 years out of the service I cannot stop seeing it, hearing it, smelling it. My anxiety is through the roof and I seem to not fit in to society anymore.I am tired of feeling afraid, of hating people, and of this isolation inside my own head. I guess I need to seek some people who can relate. I love overseas and have no VA near me, no Americans for that matter hardly, and I just feel lost. Am I crazy to feel this after being out so long now? Am I broken for life? Any words of advice welcome.

you are not crazy. that IS PTSD. in my opinion, most of us on the planet are 'broken'. yet we can choose what for the most part, we expose ourselves to now - good or bad; and what we put out there, good or bad. sometimes i just fall asleep praying *(to keep out the bad thoughts); and if i get a panic attack in the night - i do everything i can to breathe slowly and pray again.. exhausting, but it does make a difference. sometimes i even pray, "God, please give me something positive to think about." bc as people with PTSD know, it alot of work to over-ride the thoughts that race through that you DO NOT want to think about, remember, etc.... it was all i could think to write - hope this helps you buddy

Its normal and common for people to feel as you do sometimes it can come about later on fotr no reason or a trigger like a failed or stressful relationship. Principally not having a group or prople who have similar backgrounds as you as support can leave one isolated and paranoid, more so if you have anxiety problems. Try to skype or do whatever you can to establish a reconnect to people from your past or youth from where your from. Im sure many of them would be really interested in your experiences and by talking about things it will release some ptsd or anxieties and give you a base of support from familiar grounds. Best of luck. Dont give up and look for outlets you havnt explored.

My past was filled with traumatic stress (35+ years). Hell, tumbling in a Rodeo down an embankment and waking up hours later to a broken leg and stuck in the truck is serious traumatic stress. We go into the "Fight or Flight" stage of reaction to any traumatic event. Most trained Vets, Police, Rescue Officers or Medics fight by instinct. That's you. So, all of these events hit you with traumatic stress, but you effectively navigated your way out at that moment. What happens next is thinking about what just happened. Often, we find ways to stop thinking about that moment by distraction or internalizing the feelings. Some of us might deflect/repress this thinking for 20+ years, but we still suffer from Post Traumatic Stress. Good God, getting back into a vehicle after my tumble was horrific, but I had no other option. That event happened 18 years ago and I'm still hypervigilant when driving. Does that mean I have a "Disorder" to align with my PTS? No. Why? I trained myself to handle the situation and I am so the best driver ever now :-) - Killing and watching death follows the same fundamental process (I'm not equating death to a car accident). The more death I saw, the more training I conducted in my head. I had to change my thinking, deliberately. The same thing you did for so many years until it caught up with you. I am diagnosed with PTSD and all that comes with it. Been through so many different programs, different therapies, and different conversations to help pull me out this hole. All those emotions you describe are symptoms I went through. For me, they all popped out at the same time and freaked me out. Alcohol was my doctor for 11 solid years. Having new body parts, 30+ surgeries and over 8 years deploying proved alcohol was the best medicine for me. Unfortunately, I still allowed my thinking to keep me distant from everyone and anything reminding me of those stressful traumatic events. If you're crazy, over 20 million others stand with you. So, no - you are NOT crazy UNLESS you make yourself stay the course. Change your thinking, change your life. You have to get back to that point where you had a proper perspective of events and functioned without the thought you have now. The first thing the Shrink does is put you on Wellbutrin to shift your mood. Bwahaha - Most Vets agree this drug is crap. Then they try to help with anxiety (you know, that piece of you that can't stop thinking or moving?) by prescribing some benzodiazepines. Oh, these drugs will help take that edge off, but recent studies prove they only hurt more than help those of us suffering from PTSD. Good article: https://www.medicinenet.com/benzodiazepines_sleep-inducing-oral/article.htm - God help you if you find one of the many fake Shrinks out there. They'll have you on8 different meds with each having side-effects with the other. Brother, if you desire to stay broken for life, maintain your current thought process. You will choose your path by choosing how to think about the past, present, and future. The only thing MAN controls is his thinking. Fight hard. Distract your mind so you reflect less on all those traumatic events. I found working my distraction. Exercise to induce the endorphins you need for your mood swings back to "happy." Finally (the hardest), socialize. Humans are designed to interface with other humans. Without that interaction, you stay isolated and retain the cycle you are in now. God Bless you, Brother! You are at war but within yourself. You need a "Strategy" for winning this war. Once you own your strategy, you'll develop tactics, techniques and procedures to win each of the daily battles you face.

These events visiting you are quite horrendous...be proud of yourself...be kind to yourself...you saw things and the effect they have had on you means you are empathetic to those who suffered the matters of horror. There are many out there like you. You are not alone. I used long walks along the beach...try find a new partner and take them with you.

32 years ago I was in the PX bombing in Frankfurt. I hid it all this time but now it's too heavy to carry anymore. What I went through is nothing compared to you guys today, but each night for this time if I sleep I get blown up, I normally go 3-5 days awake NOS and coffee but I'm tired of it all. Really thinking of leaving society all together live on my farm no power no outside contact. I'm tired not weak just fucking done

Hi Greg,

I was on the Reaction Force for the C W Abrams Complex and V Corps Headquarters. I was in the Frankfurt PX parking lot when the car bomb detonated. I had been in the Army for 6 months, then.

I know how you feel. I am a 100% disabled veteran, today, rated for PTSD. I have sleep issues nightmares and multiple other issues, too. I live on my very remote farm and keep to myself, mostly.

The VA is little help. Just want to put you on a bunch of drugs. I have no use for that. I got jerked around for years by the VA with low ball ratings until I hired a VA law attorney. I got 100% in 4 months after turning him loose on the VA. The VA is a corrupt and lawless entity and a lawyer can roll their goat smelling asses up, most rickety tick.

My symptoms got gradually worse as I got older. This is common. We do better when we are younger. I started getting fired from jobs in my mid-40's. I don't play well with pencil necks and others who practice stupidity. I drank heavily from 1985 until last year. Drunk was the only time that I could laugh. I got lucky in 2010. My uncle retired from the VA after 30 years and got me started in the right direction. I went through good therapy for about 18 months at a small VA hospital as an outpatient for PTSD evaluation. The big city VA hospitals are veteran meat grinders, where I am from.

If you don't have VA access, file a disability claim for tinnitus (ringing in the ears). They will approve that without issue. My uncle put me onto that. I was rated at 10% disabled with approval of my claim. Once rated, you are in the system. You can use veteran service organizations like the American Legion, VFW or a county Veteran rep to file simple claims, like for hearing. Do not waste your time using them for anything other than very simple claims.

The VA practices chaos and insanity, by the minute, and their rules and regulations defy logic. They will roll up and blow away a veteran service rep and don't give a tinker's damn if he likes it or not. They will give up and go away whereas a lawyer will dig in, get mad and rip ass. You do not have to pay the attorney in advance. He gets a very fair percentage of the back pay award once he wins your claim. No win- no pay.

With VA and Social Security Disability, you can make $4,600.00 a month at the 100% rating. Will money cure PTSD? No, but it doesn't hurt. In my case, it has greatly started me on the path to better mental health. I no longer have the stress of worrying about money, or dealing with the suck holes from the bank trying to take my home and farm or appeasing a college punk at a job, that walked in and got the boss job with no industry experience. I spent a year on my farm and began to decompress.

I have had horrible anxiety attacks since my time in the Army. I started with one or two a year in my younger days and progressed to upwards of four per month in my latter years. I get true spinning with profuse vomiting and am incapacitated for 48 hours during an attack. These have greatly reduced with my having the ability to stay on my farm and have control of all of my time, when I need to, without fear of loosing a job and all of the stress that goes with that.

I am beginning to get a handle on my issues, on my own. I am slowly developing my own coping mechanisms. I have stopped the 8 to 10 beers a day habit for starters. I started going to American Legion meetings and hanging out with other guys like me. I am not much for crowds but this crowd is a barrel of squirrels like me. I look forward to the meetings. It is good to be around guys that have been there.

Luckily, I had role models growing up who had been there. One was my Uncle Woodrow. Woodrow had severe PTSD but was able to function. He retired early while still young, was very financially stable and stayed home, when he needed to, as long as he needed, and would get back out when he felt better. Woodrow was a Marine Infantryman from 1940 to 1946. He fought at Guadalcanal, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima. He was in a Special Weapons Group and was deployed, every time, prior to the initial landings. He was 92 when he died. I never saw him loose control until the very end. I asked him how he did it. He said, "I have come aparts, but I do it at home where nobody but my wife sees and I stay home, to myself, until I am better".

The basic secrets to success: full control of your time, financially stable, and a safe place to be at until you are better. Are these the answers to everything ? No, but its a damn good start G.I.

I hope this helps Brother. Shout out at me on this forum if I can help answer any questions.

Helping others like us get better helps me get better. I want you to know that I won my case against the VA under very poor and daunting odds. When I ETS'ed, the Army no longer sent our medical records to the NPRC in St. Louis. They were sent directly to the VA. I had one record as proof of being at the Frankfurt PX during the bombing. I was denied on claims over and over and had to learn by trial and error. Their basis for every claim denial: NO HISTORIC MEDICAL RECORDS FROM THE PERIOD OF SERVICE. My response: WTF? I sent them a demand for copies of all of my medical records. They produced a half-dozen battalion aid station medical records and one minor hospital record from 1985 to 1987 from Germany. I sent a second demand letter. Where are my hospital, troop medical clinic and dental records covering 15 years in service? Poof, sorry! They could not be produced! Ain't that special. Lost my records and then rolled a grenade under my lawn chair.

Turns out, all the records from before about 2000 are still in paper form and the VA uses a highly complex filing system to store them. They take big stacks of paper, your medical records, and put a big red rubber band around them and put them in big piles, with other's medical records, that are stacked from floor to ceiling against the wall and from the wall to several feet out from the wall, and this has all been accomplished in a very long storage room. This, boys and girls, is known as the VA Grabasstic Table of Disorganization. Picture this: Low-level FNG VA bureaucrat gets sent down to the paper pits of Hell and realizes that he has to dig through 65 tons of old stinky paper in an effort to locate veteran Joe Sh--bird's records. Well, after 10 minutes and sweating his $95.00 silk shirt through, he pulls an old Spec 4 Mafia trick, and goes and hides in some office under the AC for two hours. Upon returning, he announces that he cannot locate any records for that POS veteran and asks who has the big red CLAIM DENIED stamp. Dry your tears boys and girls, like my lawyer says, "There's an APP for that". "Cover me boys, I'm going in HOT!" When the smoke and fire clears, you will be victorious, cause showing the VA a lawyer is like showing Dracula the Cross.

FACT: 85% percent of VA claims adjudicators and raters are not qualified to access ANY claims. Veteran claims lawyers know this and rip ass in review hearings.

My advice Brother Greg, go for it and get yourself some peace! Please excuse my drill sergeant flashback and the ramblings of a politically incorrect old grunt. I won for the same incident and you can too. You deserve it!

My husband retired with 32 years of service and has PTSD. He does well for a while but suddenly he snapps, and starts to hide through the house. Can you help me understand why is this happening?

Faith, your husband's behavior is consistant with brain injuries from blast or blunt force head injury. Did he suffer any of these? If so, he needs to be evaluated by a qualified Nuerologist. The evaluation should include an EEG, CT Scan, MRI and behavioral symptoms and evaluation by the Nuerologist. Many times, the scans may not show results. Brain injuries are tricky. In my case, an EEG showed indications of seizure activity consistant with blast TBI. Do not let the VA or Tri-Care pukes blow you off on these tests. There are over 90,000 of us walking around, right now, with untreated Traumatic Brain Injuries. I was wounded in two IED attacks in 1985. I was 22 years old. My symptoms did not manifest until in my late 40's and got much worse in my early 50's. I had multiple concussions in service from the IED's, two armored vehicle crashes and shooting missles. Am now a 100% Disabled Veteran. I take medication to help with symptoms. Before taking any medication from the VA, I see my civilian doctor for a referal to a specialist for a second opinion on the VA's prescription. I have to pay for these doctor visits but it is well worth it. In a couple of cases, my civilian doctor told me not to take what the VA had prescribed. They don't call it "Candy Land" for nothing. Manifestation of symptoms, older in life, is very common. I am not a doctor but I have a vast ammount of experience with PTSD and TBI. I live in a town with the most prolifically deployed National Guard Brigade Combat Team in America. It has been continueously deployed since 2003. There are hordes of disabled veterans here.
Talk to your husband during his calm periods and form a plan to see a Nuerologist or your primary care doctor. I did not seek help on my own. Luckily I had an uncle that had retired from the VA. After talking, he stated "Boy, you have PTSD". I went to the VA and started to get treatment. Group PTSD counseling is good for me. Do not get into a group with a bunch of guys telling horror stories. I got into one of those. I left immediately. I got my own horror stories and don't need to hear others. Where group is beneficial is when we can share methods as to how we cope with issues and symptoms. Over time, we figure out our own paths to coping. Input from others like us can help us to figure out our own path. Another uncle was a Marine from 1940 until 1946 in the Pacific War. He had the same symptoms as your husband. They first manifested when he was in his 60's. He did short stays in the hospital and was good to go after a few days.

Hooah!

All I can say is ditto ditto ditto PTSD TBI SUICIDAL ARMY 911 Kuwait Iraq Migraines etc. blackouts and now a head on collision last Thursday following a blackout. Ready for all this to END! 7 broken vertebrae extenders 5 broken ribs, punctured lung, broken sternum and all. PAIN PAIN PAIN mental and physical... just saying. If I say how I feel I'll just end back up in a psych ward where vets should not be without shoelaces 502INF vet.

Hi bud,
Please hang in there. I was dignosed with PTSD from Dessert Storm but the VA won't recognized that. It had been 3 years and 2 months now. So I hired me a lawyer and finally everything is moving rather quickly. Actually too quick. If you need someone to talk to please e-mail at bpabilo289@bellsouth.net. I will try my very best to help each one of us.

Brother, I also was part of the W.S.R.P. and was sent forward to the 7th corp and then to the 3rd AD they had the job to spearhead for the 7th under Gen Franks. We also got the old Green Weenie because once we got back to our home units, that stayed behind and I even caught two NCOs, staff sergeants, E-6 rank, trying to convince the new 1st sergeant to let them stay behind. I made sure that everyone within ear shot and beyond knew what cowards they were. To add insult to injury non of the officers would help us when we got back. It seems that you and I have walked on and down the same roads. Please don't give up, I to fell that all the shi# gets handed to me. Once on guard duty we watch while some young people, our same ages they probably grow up to be some of those left wing liberals we all love so much, were out having some fun. He looked at me and said don't you sometimes fell like that little Dutch boy, the only one working and looking out for everyone else while they all partied. PS. God help the less than 10% of the nation that choice to serve.

Anonymous, hiding behind no name, your political accusation about left wing liberals is misguided and out of place on this forum. There are many "left wing liberal" veterans suffering from PTSD, and for you to discount them is cowardly and a dis-service to their service. Shame on you for being so ignorant and narrow minded.

Hey weapon system replacement soldier in the 3rd ID. Desert Strom. I to was called up. Sent to the 7th corp and assigned to the 3AD to help spear head against the republican guard. Like you when it was over we were sent back to our units without orders for CIBS and our home unit could give we'll you know what. I got out about 2 years later. Came home and got married shortly afterwards my PTSD showed its ugly head. My wife held on for a while then we finally went our separate ways 10 years later we meet again and rekindle the fire I was so happy. But then she started to tell me about her relationships with other men in detail, I lost it. I did not want to hear these things about the woman that I had once put on a pedestal because of the things she led me to believe about herself and her family. Last seven years before we remarried I was doing great. Off the drugs working part time at a lawn service making ends meet and feeling good: now that I've been with her for 2 years my PTSD is back with vengeance and I'm now taking three different kinds of medication that I wasn't taking before we got back together please help me. Was I wrong in not wanting to hear about her relationships in detail or should I have let her talk no matter how much it hurt me inside. She said she told me these things because she wanted me to know in case I found out later and ran, but the one thing she did not tell me about was more than likely the most important. She gave me an STD that cannot be wash away and she did not tell me for roughly 3 months. A veteran lost in my mind. Please tell me was I wrong and not wanting to hear her stories or should I let her tell me about no matter how much it hurts me inside. Looking for an answer should I stay married or should I leave and try to find the happiness I had before alone although all this is happened to me I would gladly serve again anytime if I could. PS I also served in Iraqi freedom.

Went to the gulf war with 3rd infantry division, stayed in bio hazard suit for days, had to take the pills and got a bio hazard shot, and was caught in a friendly fire incident when a private discharged his weapon in the Bradley fighting vehicle right next to me. Then he pulled the pin on a grenade playing with it. Talk about stressful. I got into Kuwait and saw all the burned bodies in vehicles I ever want to see. I was out on perimeter security for so long in the pitch black I started imagining things that weren't there. I got home and became physically ill. And the nightmares started, insomnia, anger, anxiety and depression. I did not trust anyone. My family suffered because I didn't know how to relate how I was feeling. Some days I could not go out to go to work. After over 20 years my wife gave me a choice: get help or else. She was the only one working and that made life hard on her. I did get diagnosed with ptsd, went to Texas rep to apply for compensation and he told me "yes, you went to war but you did not get a combat infantry badge, so sorry about your luck but it is not going to happen." Wow, I wish I would have been killed over there, Is this how America treats the Combat vets? On the other hand I should have went AWOL. Life for me and my family has been horrible. Maybe I will get lucky and die and the nightmares of the hell we have been through will be over!! Thanks for nothing America. I am no better off than I was before I asked for help: broke, hungry and unemployable. CG X-Sgt/E-5

Hey..my name is Judy..first of all..I want to Thank You Sir for your service and for protecting us from harm Sir. Wow! Sounds like you need to just find a nice beautiful warm place to live away from all worries and stress. I hate that you guys have to go through this crap. Please be good to yourself. Ask God to guide you and protect you..and he will. I know things are hard but if I were in your shoes I would move where there is nature or move where there is ocean and beauty.

amen to that - deserves an oasis <3

Well I believe I've had anxiety PTSD since 1966 when I was going to school when I was in the Marines at Camp Pendleton that was my first anxiety attack had no idea why or what it was. Went to Vietnam October 1967 while I was over there in January of 68 I got knocked out for one more round I assumed it was a concussion one person died head blown off the other person eardrums gone and I got thrown into a B-52 crater. Had a headache for over a month all the corpsman would do for me was give me Darvin. For my headache since I was in combat after that till I left in 68 October off and on I would have startle response heart palpitations didn't know what it was when I was getting my physical to get out I told the physician I was giving me my out physical about how I felt what was going on and you wanted to keep me in the Marine Corps until they figured it out I begged him know please let me get out and he agreed. Put on my medical records palpitations and see the VA if it continues so I got out a temper was pretty bad my marriage wasn't working out too good never hit my wife or anything and I have one daughter. So after 6 months could get a job I decided to go into the army went to Germany I was still having the anxiety which I didn't know that's what it was called and palpitation rapid heartbeat startle response and very anxious at times. The stupid thing I did I decided to go back to Vietnam and I did not combat really there anymore I was in 1st Cav 3rd Brigade. Just a lot of heroin addicts and drunks that was about it 10 months later I came home stay in the Army for 2 more years got out but all the time while I was in the army every once in awhile I would get these really bad panic attack which they said was anxiety and I was scared a lot don't know why. At the time. Then I got out of the military got a job with the Marine Corps at MCRD San Diego and things were gradually getting worse as far as my panic attacks uncontrolled anxiety and I didn't know what to do the first doctor I saw about it said I would have the Vietnam syndrome I told him he was full of shit I didn't care about Vietnam and had to be something else. He told me to go to the VA and seek treatment I refused and got another doctor this was Kaiser Hospital and he told me the same thing all they asked me was have you been to Vietnam yes but that is not the problem. So I finally got another doctor and they started treating me of course they're giving me every drug in the world so I could psychotropic which made it even worse eventually I had to retire for a short. Time couple of years and I finally took it anxiety and what they now call PTSD I still for 20 years refuse to believe that's what it was PTSD even though it cost me my marriage few of them never reverted alcohol or drugs illegal drugs just was completely confused and hurting bad format anxiety Then I had returned to work felt a lot better for a while got married again this was my third marriage and my wife at the time showing the Navy she was a nurse and we had a daughter I had 30 years I was 47 and I retired all this time I'm still having problems my ex-wife got station in Washington I was seeing a Navy social worker retired corpsman hand Vietnam veteran he read my medical records and said I should go to the VA but go to the DAV first and have them give me some doctor appointment at the VA so I guess then they saw me 1 Hart Dr and a psychiatrist all the sudden 8 months later they said they were going to give me 40% I swear to God I did not care about the money but they were willing to treat so I let them treat me I quit seeing the Navy about it and I believe that was part of my downfall for all the medication they were giving me except I needed something they wanted to give me electric shock therapy which I would let them do I was in the hospital for about two-and-a-half months under all kinds of medications they were trying the head psychiatrist of that department said I had the worst case she has ever seen with PTSD that didn't make me feel too good for saying that. So they sent me home finally which didn't help my marriage out much now remember I never used illegal drugs and I did not drink I'm still that way I don't drink I've never used illegal drugs even marijuana. But my problem never left me I try to deal with it I wanted to kill myself few times I really wish I had because it drives me crazy every day I have to take a little Valium and few other medications not bad though. Well years of gone by now I've been divorced again I'm friends with my ex wives believe it or not and I love all my kids I have 5 my daughter is a first lieutenant in the Marines I don't know why she joined. And my other two sons are professionals police officer and fireman. I'm going through something now it's kind of strange. I'm sure some people have been treated the VA will understand this. With all my trouble have anxiety PTSD whatever you want to call it and I also have a social worker my son called me up in November of 2014 to help him on the roof of the house for splicing a cable in I went over there I did it and I fell 10 feet thought I was ok but decided to go to the VA and have them look at me they did and get over this and not go into detail about the whole thing they said I had two cracked ribs actually I had 12 broken scapula Nemo hemothorax and I was dying this was 10 days later after they said there was nothing wrong with me I was putting on my daughter's rank in Quantico and I felt like I was dying went to the hospital I said I was but they wouldn't let that happen and they cut me open and drain my lungs out 3000 cc's of blood and then I had all these tubes coming out of me and I had to come home back to California from Virginia. So I got a lawyer if I filed a claim and they sell it in the hospital while I was there I was having flashbacks which I didn't have for a long time I've ever really bad might have been the morphine I don't know. Anyways Got Back i7 with the VA 135000 then they did it to me again gave me the wrong medication didn't matter to me and I crashed into 7 cars all due to the medication they gave me all they say is I'm sorry and I'm going to file another claim against them but I'm not going to go there anymore I'll be really stupid to do that. But the whole reason I'm writing this out is they took my driver's license away which is understandable the police didn't know if I had a stroke or anything like that but when I was in Vietnam on my first part of this message I'm writing I told you I had a concussion up sometime well now they give me an MRI because of the accident because my doctor was not going to sign off on me until I had an MRI and a few other test to see if I was alright. Turned out no surprise to me that I had really bad frontal lobe damage do that concussion and they weren't going to give me my license back because of that so all those years later they find out I have frontal lobe do or what they call now TBI so finally they did give me my license back the neurologist said we'll keep an eye on you to see how you're doing and that's where I stand right now I still have the anxiety everyday now I know the traumatic brain injury didn't help me out and that's probably what caused a lot of my trouble even though being in Vietnam and seeing all that death and causing all that death didn't help me either I like I said I didn't drink I didn't use drugs and I did work and I did try to raise my kids the best I could even though I got divorced so here I sit again hopefully I won't think about killing myself but I just get so tired of it been a long time no hear I remember my first anxiety attack was not in Vietnam was at Camp Pendleton don't know why thank you I don't know if this will go through don't even know who's going to read it if I even got it all right spelling it I'm talking into my phone trying to correct it as I go thank you

To the October, 2016 writer. I had similar thing happen to me in same area of country. I'm sorry the police sided with the abuser in your case and hope you have no contact with the abuser at all.

The best solution for PTSD I have ever found is a service dog that also provides protection.  Once I had my protection dog in the house I could actually sleep better and that has helped me think more clearly each day and learn new techniques for managing PTSD.

Get a protection dog, he always has your back!

I was beaten, kicked in my forehead, kicked in my ribs and finally he tried grabbing me off the ground by my head, shaking it to the point i felt my brain move. The saddest part is the San Diego Police sided with my abuser which only added to the pain. I was never offered medical attention even though the police were told of the beating i endured. Its been over 2 years but I only seem to be getting worse. I wake up and wish i was somewhere else or times i try and pretend im in a safer time in life. Having traumatic brain injury is hard enough but the unique situation I went through with the police has made me cringe when i see them now. The thing no one understands is THEY did that to me by the way they mishandled it yet im wrong for feeling how I do. I also suffer from flashbacks in the shower as the same guy assaulted me there. PTSD is so hard to have but im so grateful for articles etc so I can learn about what im going through. God bless us all....

Hi. My daughter has PTSD after being repeatedly sexually assaulted by another girl (twice her age) over at least a 7 month period. She was 7 years old. Your comments about the police ring true with me. We went to the police and they did NOTHING. No one wanted to prosecute a 14-year-old girl. To make matters worse, her grandmother (my in-law) sided with the other girl and continued a relationship with her, meaning she couldn't really have a relationship with her own granddaughter.

My daughter was diagnosed with PTSD almost immediately and it's still struggle for her now at 16. She has trouble focusing in schools whenever there is a stressor like a fire drill or worse, the lock down drills for school shootings. She's had to change teachers when one liked to slam a golf club on his desk to wake the students up. It just makes her cry. Anyway, she feels like you do, that had the police done more, had someone proved they would protect her and punish the bad guy, then it would have been easier. That the comfort of knowing the system worked would have helped.

I wish I had more words of comfort or support. My daughter has been in and out of therapy for years. It does help some, but some things like the nightmares, fear of the dark, and overactive startle response just don't go away. She hangs in there and I hope you will too.

My 30 yr brother served 8 yrs and has been out for 4 yrs. He was diagnosed with PTSD at the lowest percentage. He told me the counselor was even hesitant on diagnosing him with PTSD. He is married with children and holds down a full time job. I do believe in PTSD, but not sure how much I should allow him to act out towards us. He and his wife attack my mom verbally if she doesn't send them money. So he gets angry and will ignore her calls, and then he and his wife blamed it on his PTSD. He recently verbally attacked my 19 yr old daughter saying she needs to tell him to his face if she doesn't want to speak to him and his wife. She doesn't want to speak to him because he had an outburst about her not having time between college and work to drop off a car seat to his wife. Once again he and his wife said it was due to PTSD. I have now offered to help them in anyway I can. I'll meet with his counselor if he has one, anything. His response it's to late he doesn't need our family's help. His wife's, she has her vet wives support and doesn't need his family to help. I'd like to hear from those who have dealt with PTSD. Should I walk away or force help. Is it wrong for me to feel he and his wife use PTSD to act out. If I'm wrong I'm will to take the backlash. I just want to do what's right for my brother.

My brother has been out of the marines going on four years after serving 4 years. He was diagnosed with a low percentage of PTSD about a year ago. He told me they were even hesitant on even diagnosing him with PTSD. He has a wife, children, and holds down a full time job. Honestly, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this whole thing, and would like some input. Even if it is just backlash. My brother and his wife tend to get mad at us for not always doing what they want. If my mother won't send them money he lashes out and they both blame it on PTSD. He has recently verbally attacked my daughter for not finding time between college and work to drop a carseat to his wife. Now I did jump in on that one and asked why his wife couldn't pick it up. Again, we weren't being sensitive to his PTSD. I have now reached out and said I'll help him. I said I'll visit with his counselor if he has one. I'll do anything. His response is he doesn't need my help. His wife's, she has her vet wives and doesn't need help from his family. I would like to hear from those who has dealt with people with low percentage PTSD. Should I walk away or force help. Am I wrong in feeling he and his wife are using PTSD to act out. I'm opening to any comments even the backlash, lol.

I served in Vietnam 68, 69 and 70. I cannot recollect any of the bases I was at. I had to contact a friend and he sent me an email of bases on my tours of Southeast Asia. The only memory that haunts me day and night is incoming 122mm rockets. One was so close it knocked me out. When I woke up I visualize a duce and a half truck on fire and flight line something on fire. My post was a bunker, sandbags surrounding me were thrown out. My m-16 and m-60 were not in my bunker. Lucky yes, all I remember was the impact of the rocket. There was never a report, never went to infirmary, never got checked out. Day and night I constantly hear the impact of 122mm rocket. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD yet no disability. Tinnitus disability, otisis externa fungus was told by infirmary, but no record on that available. My records from1971 to 1999 lost, told they were retired.

I enlisted, no questions when it came for duties in the United States, no questions asked when it came time to do my job or duties in Vietnam. I signed an oath, but an oath to be treated this way? My country ordered me to perform my duties, and now I have asked for my questions to be answered. What went wrong? For one who has been in Vietnam in a combat zone and in combat it never leaves. Why would I lie? How can I make up such a story? Where is the help from Veterans Affairs? If this veteran has turned every possible of evidence why don't they believe me? I will stop fighting for my disability, this disability I didn’t cause. I did not cause actions in Vietnam .And here I am the VETERAN, VICTIM, with absolutely no defense that I can prove how I feel. My body is mine my brain sends messages and that is how I know something is wrong with me. I was once owned by the military and was called a soldier, but now I am called by last four of my social security number or my claim number. I ask how could VETERANS AFFAIRS FORGET WHO WE WERE, LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND IN WAR OR CONFLICT. No, Veterans Affairs has not kept their promises for x soldiers as I.

I'm 25 years old I have night terrors as early as I can remember. I wake up every day burning with rage and I feel like I want to cry. my father abused me my mother and my sister. My mother was (still is) a drunk, my sister a drug addict who's been playing with death for years now. I've watched my friends be gunned down. I've lost family and friends due to a very cold world. I was neglected and abused and left to fend for myself. as early as 12 I was kicked out of my home or running away I went to prison at 17 for a fight at school the kid was hitting his girlfriend and I just snapped in that instant I just remember My dad hurting my mom and I lost it...I have 2 little girls now and I don't know what to do..there always asking me why I'm so mad but I just can't answer that. I get mad when there nothing to get mad about. I feel like there nothing I can do and I cant control my rage.it could be something as little as not eating her diner and I snap...I see people bullying others i snap...I'll wake and go to the bathroom and I see myself in the mirror and I'm filled with rage. this is my cry for help and I feel like it's getting worse and worse. Please all I want is to go through life and enjoy it. I want my girls to understand life doesn't have to be bad.

At age 33 I feel like I'm 50, the 14 years served were filed with continuous preparation and serving in war time conflicts; these have made my life extremely difficult. I live life day by day and most are difficult. I take over 6 medications per day and sleep an average of 12 hours per week, which has completely inhabited my ability to keep meaningful relationships with both friends and family. Most days include nightmares, frequent migraines, and fatigue, which have made simple daily tasks extremely difficult to accomplish. I love serving my country, but have also realized that they do not serve me in return. Unfortunately, I have been medically retired after 14 years of active service due to medical conditions aggravated by service. I can not receive my retirement pay while receiving VA disability compensation, this not only makes my life more difficult, but poses a problem with the future recruitment of willing Americans to serve our country, if our country does not appropriately accommodate military veterans who were willing to sacrifice their lives in order to support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic, why would they gave up their lives for this country. Why give non American citizen benefits? Why give everyone an education? Why give food stamps or additional aid, but take benefits from those who have given their lives or sanity for the sake of defending our country? Everyone should serve 2 years in the military to get a better understanding of our nations true values of honor, courage, and commitment. A higher education should be earned, so why do poverty level citizens have the means to attend higher education for free, while I risk my life to earn mine? Cutting funding should not start nor end with the compensation of our protectors, this should be a non negotiable item. Have you walked in the shoes of a service member? Have you taken a life to save a buddy or get to the next mission? Have you went without a shower for 6 months and came back home after war and felt that you no longer fit in? The reality is that I left to serve my county and never fully came back. I haven't been the same! The negative side effects of war aren't going away, but I would not change a thing. I am a patriot! A true American! The greater good is worth my sacrifice! America (the free world) continues to exist, because of our service members; without them it will not continue. I have been blown up, shot, and have lost meaningful relationships. I have received many honors to include a purple heart and a bronze star for my actions. I would do it again if asked without question! I only ask for our government to back the people who have given up the things that they have in order to protect our great country; rich, middle, and upper classes Americans. Without us you would no longer exist!

Hi all I have written a booklet to try and reach out and share my experience regarding being married to an ex soldier with PTSD it is on Amazon titled Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Married to a soldier by R L Nicholson please have a read as it may be helpful. Take care R L Nicholson

I am the wife of an afghan vet who I met post service and married and we have two beautiful children. My husband is crippled with this illness and I completely understand were you are at. My best advice is to hang in there. It is hard I know but appreciate the time you have and understand if he didn't help others he may suffer more and then you may have more time with him but you would really be losing him mentally. I hope my message is clear it is hard when typing. Please continue to love and respect your honorable man for the duty he continues to do. If you were not strong enough to pick up the rest of the things that need to be done you would not be in his life or him in yours. Be thankful he is an upstanding man and be proud to be strong enough to be the one he counts on because whether he says it or not you would be his rock! I wrote a booklet about my experience and published it on amazon it is called Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disprder Married to a Soldier by R L Nicholson. Please feel free to check it out and I hope maybe some of my words have encouraged you Take care my thoughts and wishes are with you both

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