Some people experience or witness a traumatic event such as combat, sexual assault, a serious accident or a natural disaster. After any life-threatening event, it is common to feel distressed, be on high alert, have trouble sleeping or want to avoid reminders of the event while also being unable to stop thinking about it.

When these feelings do not get better over time, it may be a sign of PTSD; it can happen to anyone and, “It doesn’t say anything about the person other than that life can be hard and we can all react in different ways,” said Dr. Sonya Norman, guest on this episode.

People can get better

There are effective treatments for PTSD, including psychotherapies (or “talk therapies”) and medications. Unlike in the past, when PTSD was thought of as a chronic condition like diabetes, these treatments have now made recovery from PTSD possible. There may not be a cure, but people can feel better and live fuller lives.

People who think they may have PTSD should speak to a healthcare professional to find out how they can get evaluated or to discuss treatment options. VA’s National Center for PTSD website also includes helpful information about PTSD and treatment so people can learn more.

PTSD Coach

Although not a substitute for treatment, there are digital resources people can use to help cope with their thoughts and feelings. PTSD Coach Online is a website that can be accessed from any device connected to the internet.

PTSD Coach is a mobile app that can be downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet so people can choose what works best for them. Both the website and the app are free and do not collect private data. They include tools for in-the-moment coping and more information on how to connect to treatment.

For people with PTSD, finding hope may be difficult, but effective treatments are out there and can help people feel better in a matter of months.

“We want to get you living your life without the need for ongoing constant treatment,” Dr. Norman said. “That’s the goal. And we’re able to do that, to help a lot of people that way. So it’s really worth trying.”

Additional links:

If you are a Veteran experiencing a crisis or supporting a loved one who is, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 for immediate assistance or chat online.

By Andrea L. Jamison is a clinical psychologist for the National Center for PTSD

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Published on Feb. 17, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 2,001

2 Comments

  1. Ronald E HAKET February 28, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    AS A RETIRED MASTER CHIEF, US NAVY, I’M ADDRESSING HOW OUR VA ADDRESSES THOSE OF US WHO WERE “LIFERS”. IT FEELS THAT WE ARE LUMPED TOGETHER WITH ANYONE WHO HAS SERVED AND THE SEVERITY OF OUR CONDITIONS ARE THE SAME. I HAD A STROKE WHILE SERVING AND A MEDICAL BOARD CONSIDERED THE ISSUE “RESOLVED” HOWEVER, IT WAS NOT! WHILE SERVING OFF THE COAST OF VIETNAM, I WAS SUBJECTED TO AGENT ORANGE. I NOW HAVE SKIN CANCER AND PARKONSON’S DISEAS. THERES NO CURE FOR PARKINSON’S AND IT’S GETTING WORSE. HOWEVER, I ONLY GET 10% FROM OUR VA. I DIDN’T RAISE MY RIGHT HAND TO BE SUBJECTED TO THIS DISEAS. THE VA NEEDS TO BE MORE OBJECTIVE FOR THOSE OF US WHO RETIRED WITH AT OR MORE THAN 24-YEARS OF SERVICE…

  2. Darrell February 25, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    The webpost that are associated to this. On facebook Is full of hateful comments spurred on by the divisional belief That one person’s pain Is less than the other person’s pain. For whatever delusional misguided reason they can construct in their minds is being let run amuck .

    In 2 of the posts that are now gone somebody wished somebody to die.
    In other posts, that are still there , there is direct combination of others injury. None moderated post are let flurish . These shouldn’t be deleted but they certainly should be answered by people that are correcting their incorrect statements that directly attack and affect veterans using the site .

    Wow ptsd is Serious no matter what the cause when it’s been diagnosed it should be treated with respect. My friend took her own life her PTSD was no different than yours.

    VA Many of these grotesque assumptions are being entered by accounts with alot of va likes on there comments. Yet they’re still allowed to openly condemn others injuries…. hmmmm
    investigation to find who these people Letting such practices take place is negligence.

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