PTS (D)

Post-traumatic stress (PTS) can develop after a person has been directly exposed to, witnessed or heard about a traumatic event, involving a threat of severe bodily harm or loss of life to themselves or others. It is the body’s normal reaction to extremely abnormal events.

Military personnel may be more at risk of exposure to traumatic events than the average civilian population due to their frequent deployments to combat zones. In fact, research shows that the repeated deployments of the past ten years have made all Military Service Members, Veterans and Families more vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress.

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress can occur anytime after returning home, and if the symptoms don’t go away, it’s important to seek help before they get worse. Symptoms may include:

  • Nightmares, intrusive memories or flashbacks to the trauma
  • Feeling anxious or unsafe, especially when reminded of the trauma
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constantly feeling on alert and/or easily startled
  • Feeling numb
  • Feeling irritable or having anger outbursts
  • Avoiding people and places

In order to receive a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis, symptoms must persist for at least one month and cause significant distress, interference, or impairment in work, school, or social functioning. Symptoms may last for several months, or become even more chronic. For some, PTSD symptoms emerge six months or more after the traumatic event.

Home Base offers assessment, diagnosis and treatment for Service Members, Veterans and Families experiencing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The organization’s seasoned team of clinicians and social workers collaborate with the individual(s) to develop a highly tailored treatment plan, with the goal of helping them ease or overcome the symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.

For more information about PTS(D), visit:

http://www.massgeneral.org/psychiatry/services/anxiety_ptsd.aspx

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/index.asp

Sleeping Difficulties Are Extremely Common

For those people deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan or another war theater, they learned to get by on very little sleep, and always remain alert. When returning home, many have trouble falling asleep or have sleep interrupted by nightmares. During the day, some people experience disturbing flash backs of a traumatic event as if it were happening in real time. If these symptoms persist, help is available.

Thoughts and Emotions Can Feel Overwhelming

Many Service Members and Veterans feel as if they are always on alert, jumpy and easily startled. They may have difficulty concentrating at school or at work. Or they might start to avoid crowds, public places, even family gatherings or any situation that makes them feel anxious. At times, they’re anxious, irritable or quick tempered with family or friends. Intense feelings of guilt or fear are common—but so is the opposite extreme, feeling numb. They may find that it’s hard to trust others, or enjoy all the people and life activities that they used to. That’s when it’s time to get care.