PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Current statistics indicate that as much as 31 million suffer from some form of PTSD (according to healmyptsd.com). Among this group, our veterans often suffer from some of the most extreme cases upon returning from the horrors of war. Some suffer so greatly that they are unable to reacclimate into society and the workforce. It is disturbing to think that those who fought for our freedoms are left struggling with this debilitating condition, sometimes unable to cope with demands of the current workforce.
We’ve put together some tools to help you understand if you or a loved one may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, some resources for help, and recommendations for reacclimating into society and the workforce.
PTSD Signs & Symptoms
The following is a chart showing some of the most common signs and symptoms exhibited by those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Each individual may have unique symptoms based on their pre-existing mental dispositions, severity of battle, and other genetic factors. Remember that PTSD is not only experienced by those who have been in war, but anyone who has experienced a traumatic event or series of events.
*PTSD Symptoms according to the Mayo Clinic.
PTSD By the Numbers: Statistics & Cases in Recent Wars
Estimated Cases of PTSD – Recent Wars:
Iraq War: 12 – 20% of returning veterans
Afghanistan War: 6 – 11% of returning veterans
Cases For Combat Veterans:
Total Combat Veteran Cases Estimate: 10 – 30% of returning veterans
Deployed Last 6 Years: 20% of soliders; approximately 200,000 veterans.
Female Soldiers: 17% of combat veterans are women; 71% develop some form of PTSD and many are due to sexual misconduct among the ranks.
Where Can I Get Help?
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, every VA medical center in the country provides a variety of help for those suffering from PTSD. Usually, you must first work with a VA physician or your private physician to diagnose you with PTSD. Once diagnosis is made, you will be referred to a specialized PTSD program at your local VA medical center. There are other general programs available and group therapy, however, to get into a program tailored for you, a referral is usually required. (If you or a loved one needs immediate attention with a crisis, call 911). See also the national suicide prevention hotline.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
Services Offered at the VA
In a nutshell, the VA offers education, evaluation, and treatment plans that are both general, and if needed, specialized programs. According to the VA, the following programs are offered:
- One on one psychotherapy and family therapy
- Medication, if necessary
- Assessments & Testing
- Group Therapy for anger, stress, family issues, and groups for those who were in similar wars or circumstances
PTSD & Career Counseling
Re-entry into the workforce is often cited as a major contributor to overcoming PTSD. According to Americas Heros at Work, entering the work force is key to gaining a sense of self worth, reduces isolation, and creates an atmosphere of healthy social interaction. It also helps to reduce stress caused by lack of financial resources. We’ve put together a list of some resources that are in place to help find their place in the workforce after their time in the military:
Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
America’s Heroes at Work
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP)
Exploring Post Military Career Options
Here at criminaljusticeschools.com, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to careers in the broad field of criminal justice. We hope that you will find the articles and information helpful in your search for the post military career that is right for you.
Criminal Justice Career Guide