PTSD Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions

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Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

After reading all the comments, tears came to my eyes.....I'm one of the statistics as well. Female, suffered many personal traumas, but my son who sustained a severe brain injury as an infant, on DOD property, the emotions 12 years later won't go away. Infact, anniversary time now of when he was in a coma - I'm horrible. I lash out at everyone, can't sleep or think properly, I am suspicious of everyone, trust nothing in the medical arena and can't stand myself these days.
My salute and honor goes to our troops in arms way. I now understand what so many of them endure. Until one suffers of something, it is difficult to understand what others go through. I suffer from PTSD now. I went through a very painful accident then survival for my life while hunting alone. As time went on after the accident and surgery, I found myself with drawing from the wife and family. I could not quit thinking about what I went through. I found myself crying again and again, because I knew something had changed about me. I was not the same and I could not quit thinking about what had happened to me. It was like I was trying to change what had happened so I could be normal again, physically and mentally. The harder I tried the worse it got. PTSD, yes there is such a thing.
I have suffered from PTSD for a long time but Its gotten better. Due to this I am actually in school to do clinical psychology with extra attention to PTSD and I plan to work for VA hospitals. I promise that I will not be one of those doctors to overlook PTSD and send a soldier back into the field. PTSD is a difficult thing. I want to let everyone know here that PTSD does get better with time. Things I've used in the past or helped others use in the past are things such as: when in a disassociative state I try to bring myself or others back by having them sense something out of the ordinary. Give them ice to hold, touch something rough,have them smell something pungent. This is important because it brings you to the present. getting the person with PTSD as much physical touch as possible even if they don't want it. Massages, chiropractor,using oils to rub feet or hands. You can use the ice method for anxiety as well. Some people think breathing exercises are silly so I recommend while having an anxiety attack walking and paying close attention to how your feet touch the ground, how it feels to walk. If your not ready to go outside and walk sit in a chair and feel the chair. Feel how your butt feels in the chair, how your feet feel on the ground, how your spine feels. I would highly recommend horse back riding, or a dog for the person with PTSD. Horses are powerful creatures and you must earn their trust. The pure energy that a horse have while riding can significantly drop blood pressure. This also may be a good time to talk either to the horse or to a friend. (I hope to incorporate horses in my therapy with PTSD) Dogs provide much of the same relief. Music is major. Music I believe can help repair the brain of many things. Have music playing all the time. Not just your favorite music but classical music, music that makes you wanna dance (and you do!) some of the best music came out of the 60's 70's and 80's and is easy to find on pandora or youtube. Rock out to yourself for a while. Get IN to that music. Also Laugh. Go to a comedy club, or watch something halarious. These things above have proved to help me the most and help others that I've suggested this to. I am not a PhD yet but I am eagerly waiting to use all of these techniques in my office or out on a farm with my office at the farm. I didn't say anything about anger, but with the release of anxiety the anger gets better. I still have more to work on, and I didn't go into heavy detail here but I honestly feel like this is a start to how to treat people with PTSD. Implementing all of these things I believe will provide much needed relief. Most of all though, getting in to talk to a therapist is major. Look for people that will do their services on a pay scale if you don't have insurance.
i think ive had ptsd since i was a little kid. since i was really young...
^^^ My boyfriend is like that. He suffers ALLOT with PTSD. How can I help him?
i know i am havin ptsd for almost 3 weeks now, i guess best is to talk it out to a therapist or someone who also has ptsd, give some time for the anger and frustration to vent out, cause the only question i get in my head is why did it happen to me' well all i can say now is it happend to all of us, and the only way out of it is give it some time..... meds are there to work but i dont want to take meds and later be all hooked to it, i have found exercising really helpful, and jus talking about it to as many ppl as i can sometimes it feel like i am collecting sympathy but the truth is i am trying get bored of it, and jus work keep the mind occupied for sometime till it passes, cause i know it will pass, after all there are going to be more tragedies in life...... but this will pass wit time.....
I think I may have ptsd. I think I may have had it for like 20 years. I never knew what it was until about 2 yrs ago. I have only known one person that has had it and I don't know what to do. I have lost everything through out the years my marriage my friends and my family. I do not have it under control and do not have medical insurance to seek help. I don't know how much more I can handle. Can some one please shed some light for me so I don't just end it all.
hi, i have post traumatic stress my friend was murdered in the house we shared and a few months later i was mugged at knife point the combination accelerated the condition,i also served as a soldier in the troubles in northern ireland a kind of triple combo,i try and talk my problems through and live with in the best way i can although its not easy as you know.god bless you all
How do I get rid of this talk my way out of it to myself?
i came to this website hoping for answers and hoping to help others dealing with what ive been told is a former emt-b. i ran rescue for many years and on my last call worked with a paramedic who literally failed to follow protocals on a patient. i tried to do everything i was certified to do and constantly reassure my patient i was there for her and i was not leaving her.she felt like she was dying and begged us to help her and not let her die.the paramedic played down the patients signs and symptoms and even stated " its anxiety" making the she's crazy cirlce motions behind the patients head.this angered me as i knew something was terribly wrong with my patient. i continued to do my best to the level of my training when she passed out then stopped breathing. i immediatly checked for a response verbally and physically but she wasnt breathing and had no pulse. i began cpr right away telling the paramedic she coded!i preformed compressions with my right hand and was bagging her with the my left hand. i yelled at our driver to drive code 1 lights and sirens and that cpr was now in progress.the paramedic simply held the bag valve mask down and said you've got to get a good seal.i had a good seal.she seemed as though cpr was enough.she was a paramedic and i was an emt-b yet i was telling her to start an iv and her intubation kit was on the bench ready! she did nothing but hold the bvm down. thats it....i was so horrified for our patient because she wasnt getting the care i have seen other paramedics give in simular cases.she just held the mask while i tried to help save this womans life.this was a train wreck in my mind. im so sad to say my patient died on the back of our ambulance. she was in her 70's and married to a nice gentleman who was following us to the heart just broke for him to see him loose her. knowing that more could and should of been done for her has really upset me.i contacted the dept of ems and compained about the paramedic. the dept of ems investigated this case and said i did all i could and i went above and beyond.they said the paramedic would be investigated but they wouldnt tell me how she would be held accountable. she is still a paid paramedic in va beach va. i left the field after that last call. almost 3 yrs later im still dealing with my emotions.i have anxiety, cry alot,am affraid of getting hurt or sick and not getting the proper help.i dont eat new things for fear of a reaction and dying.i watch my patient frantically panic begging me "dont let me die please" to the point of her putting me in a head lock grip not to leave her in her panic.ive prayed to GOD, had others pray for me and am seeing a counselor.i feel if anyone has experienced ptds a strong support group would help us all going through here i am, and i hope that maybe my story and experience will help someone get better and realize youre not prayers go out to all of you who have had a tramatic experience that has complicated your life and understanding it. i know some day GOD will show me HIS answers and make me feel at peace and HE will do the same for you advice is to trust GOD'S plan and keep strong in your faith.take it minute by minute or even day by day.each day is a new day you overcame yesterday and is a blessing for better days to come.
After reading all these letters it appears that my husband has ptsd. I am still looking for answers. I want to get him help as soon as possible. It does not seem to be getting any better (as a matter of fact he seems to be getting worse). I am very concerned with his mental state of mind. All I can say is that you have to take it one day at a time and trust in the Lord that He is going to get you through this difficult time~pray for that person and be there for that person no matter what.You are going to get through it no matter how long it takes. Madison
Hi i have been suffering from post traumatic stress for about ten months now. several months ago my mother had cancer and died from it. in the process i witnessed my mother have a slow and painful death. she was in the hospital for over a month straight i took care of her, and was there through out the whole thing. I loved my mother very much, she was my only parent. however now i can not stop reliving my mothers death, the flash backs can not go away, and i have nightmares about what happened and what i saw. i keep watching my mother die over and over again. i sit and i cry just hoping and praying that the memories can stop replaying in my mind, but they don't. i do not know how to deal with this, i try to not think about it but i have no control, what should i do to stay away from these scary thoughts and horrible dream? i
5/15/10 My heart goes out to and respects our troops with and without PTSD. I am connected to a counselor who was mine over 20 yrs ago, when she moved to Mass. to become a Veterans Readjustment Counselor. I have stayed in contact with her because of my respect and trust in her. AFTER 20 YEARS OF COUNSELING I AM ALMOST OUT OF HOPE. I am 49, an incredible craftsman, cannot work or be productive and am desperate to find a life, single, no kids, never married, no relationship for years, lonely. Although I have adhd, which I did not know until I was 31, and became severly Depressed I, after much reading, believe the severe trama I lived through when my father was killed along with with his sister and husband, 35 yrs ago, when I was a sensative 14 yr old who lived to go with him to work and about is the deep altering of my thinking way back then, which is the severe and deep basis of my behavior and severe major depressive disorder, med resistant and hopeless to this point. I do not dwell on my father being gone, but now really believe that deep set trama burried change has blocked me from living even close to an ok life after18 yrs of countless different meds, and 14 or so yrs of endless therapies to this day, I am worn almost completely out. I am very talented, but numb and close to paralised due to feer that I can never change. Feel free to contact me at or call me at 603-534-3410, sighned Thomas L. Vachon
My mother has PTSD. I am not sure how it came about but it started after she went through a Divorce. She goes through mood swings, memory loss and paranoia. She goes through peoples things to see who is in the house and she lies so well she believes it. I don't know who to turn to to get her more help than she is currently getting. I also have a really hard time dealing with this issue. I don't understand how this happened or where to go from here.
I don't like sleeping because the nightmares come. lately it's gotten to be that i can see/hear/tast it when i'm awake. I'm scared to talk to the doctors. I'm afraid they'll think i'm crazy. I know what's causing these symptoms but it's something i have no choice but to deal with every day. every day i have to kill things ... everyday the nightmares and the waking dreams get worse. I hear the screaming, sometimes i can even taste the blood in my mouth. i wish i could turn my brain off. i want to get doctor help but i had a drug problem years ago and now i'm scared to take meds. my family say's i just need to get over it that it's all a fake syndrome. i know it's not. i chooose not to be around them because they don't offer any support. my former friends are all druggies and alcoholics and i don't want to be around that so i sit at home with my dog waiting for the nightmares to come again.
First off, I am a USMC vet, and I suffer from extreme PTSD. When I got out of the Marines, I denied that anything that happened in Iraq bothered me at all. I was lying to myself and everyone I knew. I suffered from not only nightmares and not being able to control my emotion, but I suffered from night tremors. During the hellish nightmares that I had, my body would convulse. If I woke up during the tremor I would be coherent as to what was going on but would continue to convulse wildly for up to several hours afterward, and I could not control it. Only after a conversation with my dad, who is a Vietnam vet, did I finally seek help. At first I wouldn't talk about Nasiriya or Al Kut, but over a period of months I opened up and it was like a flood gate. Once I talked about what happened over there my night tremors decreased, and continuted to do so. Now, I still have the occasional bad dream, but when I wake up, I feel in control. If you are active duty and believe you have PTSD, contact your unit's chaplain, they will guide you towards the help you need. If you are a veteran, the VA will evaluate you and help you get the treatment you need. The VA will not only help submit a claim for disability, they will actually set you up with a counselor or group therapy with a mediator and other victims of PTSD. To all victims of PTSD, no matter what the base cause of your trauma is.....there is help available to you, all you have to do is accept it. In my group therapy sessions we always ended each meeting with the same prayer as Alcoholics Anonymous..."God, grant me the strength to change the things I can, to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference." - I wish you all success.
PTSD is that a real "Disease" or is it just people making bad choices in life and trying to pass the blame on to others so they don't have to bare the responsibility of their actions? Just asking.
thank u so much for this info and for those who have served
Vietnam changed all who served indelibly and forever. My great motivating desire in writing about Vietnam was first a cathartic one, to heal the demons of war within me from where I'd stashed them from so long ago, bringing them out and confronting them so I could deal with them face-to-face, looking them in the eye. I know everyone is not the same, and everyone is not ready for this...but writing about it helped me heal...and I have received so many letters from brothers-in-arms, like the one telling me, "Damn, you tell it just as I feel it. You echo the words in my head that I can't express. I didn't know anyone else thought the way I did." Many tell me my words are also healing to them, like the tough Marine tank sergeant who called, telling me he was crying like a baby that someone else understood. It is healing to talk about the traumas of war, and to get the demons of combat that we warriors who have stood in battle have buried so deep, out in front of us, out on our terms where we can easier deal with them. I too was in denial about combat and its haunting memories. I could not bear to talk about it, and tried hard to just forget the trauma ever happened. That didn't work well, but thinking about the memories was too painful ... too confusing. I didn't understand it, and could not get a handle on it ... but it bedeviled my soul. When I finally came out of the closet of denial and started to write about it in 1999, 32 years after the Nam's odyssey, it was healing. My poetry has meaning that transcends my cathartic writing.
Im a Canadian soldier diagnosed with p.t.s.d . my life has never been the same after I got back from the gulf war and then a tour in yugo in 92 . Iv lost touch with my family and freinds . rejected and called a coward by my loving wife , my children don\'t understand why I stay a way at times . my emotional state of mine veries from day to day . I tried getting help , all I got from DVA was the run around . a lot of questions for there files and no support. phycologist that tells me its ok to smoke pot to calm myself down and a 1800 dollar pension thats suppose to help compensate us for a life in caos . we are left in the dark for so long about our condition , it makes it hard to find our way back home . oh what home my wife kicked me out of my retirerment home . told the court I had psycological problems and a drug addiction stopped my children from having contact with me and called me slow brain and stupid .it makes it hard to exept a pension thats suppose to help in what way , each day I feel as bad if not worst them the accual trauma . I live in a camp . no electricity no running water and no hope . this has to be the worst time of my life . fear , anxiety and the lack of support from the people I love already caused so many problems in my life , truth be known the hero to 0 atitude we face each day kills that pride in us I understand what your going trough P.T.S.D CAN LEAVE YOU FEELING NUMB .and affraid to make choises towards recovery. lets talk a bit about the way we live and die as soldiers. the constant treat unstable lifestyle and the mental and physical abuse we endure as soldiers this alone enough to creat ptsd in all of us . dnd does not take responsabilty for our mental healht they hide the facts so they can pond us of to there retired military doctors . how can we be proud of serving when we are just # in a numbers game . Im angry at the system that treat us like nobody\'s
As a therapist working extensively with combat soldiers, it is important to get the soldier to recognize the problems and then get them to a Vet Center (a part of the VA medical system0 and allow them to help the vet.
I am the mother of a teenager, both of us diagnosed with PTSD, status post, a home invasion robbery. I would like the person, or does anyone know the person that left the following comment: Nov 21st, 2009 8:21pm Hi, I am diagnosed with PTSD, and have been in counseling for 3 years now every Thursday. I have terrible nightmares every night, and when I am in or around anyone that acts like my father, I start to panic, and can't calm down, like other people are able to do. I have feelings of dispar so often that I can't get into direction, or any where in my life. I feel that I am always just surviving all of the things that scare me so much. I feel like such a looser, I am alone,because I can't be in a relationship due to all of my symptoms, men just don't understand, and neither do I. I have taken drugs to make myself be and feel normal. That is the only thing that makes me feel like living, and I know that I can't safely do this, I am so stuck, I HAVE TO SURVIVE THIS!!! I just have to be able to get through college and make something of myself, but all of the symptoms of the PTSD just become overwhelming!!! I truly do wish that if I have to continue with all of these symptoms, that I could just go to sleep forever. I am 53 years old and I have had so many awful things happen to me. Has anyone else had this happen to them, and how did you survive??? Please help me!!! Okay, this is Send me any info to contact this woman. She is desperate for help, and I can really relate to her feelings of hopelessness and fear. I can also be contacted on Twitter @Medusarants or Facebook: IanoullaKouveli. My son and I have been living with PTSD for 5 years. I am back in college, (retired atty,psych tech/med asst), going for a degree in Psychology. My major is PTSD. I am 49. My son is 14. Anyone else who wishes to contact me, please feel free to do so. We have to come together. Alone, this illness will defeat each of us: Together, we can over come it.
I am a veteran of WWII - B-17 bomber pilot. Brother killed at Salerno. BUT humiliated and trautomized as I was with killing thousands of civilians in cities I bombed, after the war - after going through a period of total rejection of my former and trivial social life - I was an actor - I was pulled out of my lethargy, anger and frustration. I decided to DO SOMETHING ABOUT WAR ITSELF. IT WAS A THERAPY! In short, the "therapy" for vets is to figure out how to ELIMINATE WAR which put them into a PTSD condition in the first place. WE FEEL GUILTY AND HUMILIATED! We must expiate that guilt, humiliation and anger. The society we left is the same old, same old. How many vets have had two, three tours? Madness. I figured it out. War is a losers game. But reciprocally, peace is the opposite and I don't mean what the national leaders call "peace." Hell, world wars started in 1914. Since 1945, wars became obsolete. Now the gun is aimed at humanity itself. Are we all crazy? No wonder vets go crazy, commit suicide, murder their wives and kids. The solution is self-evident. BE A WORLD PEACEMAKER! HOW? GET RID OF THE MYTH OF "NATIONAL SECURITY." ONLY WORLD SECURITY IN OUR CENTURY IS RATIONAL, MORAL AND POSSIBLE. CLAIM WORLD CITIZENSHIP! That's the "cure" for PTSD. I did it so I am an example. Call me. 802-864-6818.
i have PSTD because of my backround. i was abused by my parents, i was sexually abused by men. if i get too scared, depressed, anything with my emotions, it happens. its hard to survive. but ik i have to.
My heart goes out to my fellow veterans who are currently suffering or have suffered from PTSD. There is a very strong stigma, especially for males to seek treatment because they think others might find them weak. PTSD is very serious and it is very real, if you have any of these symptoms, please see a VA rep in your area to start tackling your problems before they manifest into something that becomes too unbarable to deal with. Thank you to all of you who have served your country honorably. Semper Fi and God speed.
Hi, I am diagnosed with PTSD, and have been in counseling for 3 years now every Thursday. I have terrible nightmares every night, and when I am in or around anyone that acts like my father, I start to panic, and can't calm down, like other people are able to do. I have feelings of dispar so often that I can't get into direction, or any where in my life. I feel that I am always just surviving all of the things that scare me so much. I feel like such a looser, I am alone,because I can't be in a relationship due to all of my symptoms, men just don't understand, and neither do I. I have taken drugs to make myself be and feel normal. That is the only thing that makes me feel like living, and I know that I can't safely do this, I am so stuck, I HAVE TO SURVIVE THIS!!! I just have to be able to get through college and make something of myself, but all of the symptoms of the PTSD just become overwhelming!!! I truly do wish that if I have to continue with all of these symptoms, that I could just go to sleep forever. I am 53 years old and I have had so many awful things happen to me. Has anyone else had this happen to them, and how did you survive??? Please help me!!!
im doing a project on ptsd and this is a great websitee.
My father is a 59-year-old vietnam veteran, and he has PTSD. He was diagnosed last year. He suffers so much with night terrors and depression. I see first hand what he goes through on a daily basis(his changes in moods, behavior, personality; the doctors,meds,& counselors). He goes through so much, and I have so much more respect for him and love him for fighting for his country in a time they needed him. I have the upmost respect for every veteran and thank you all for everything you've done to make this country what it is today.
good document on ptsd. Semper fi
I am dating a guy who is an Iraq-war Vet...he has PTSD and it can make a peson really fearfull of a lot of things and very gaurded with their emotions, I have found. Not to mention the night terrors, and horrible dreams he has constantly.
I have spent my whole life, in and out of institutions after suicide attempts, debilitating depression, anxiety, nightmares, etc; everything that points to PTSD. It is only now that I have been properly diagnosed.Finally all the pieces fit and it all makes sense. All of those doctors in all of those states I lived in and no one knew why I am suffering. I am 61 yrs old and it is only now that I am learning how to live with this. My whole life is practically gone.
I have been dealing with this crap for 40 yr I am a viet nam vet.If you think you have ptsd this information is something to take heed of there is no cure just learning to deal with it and meds.Also as you get help take the ones you love and let them in on what is going on seek a counsler with them if you can. Semper Fi
good document on PTSD.