Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Many Veterans Have Ptsd

Don't Miss

What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd Among Veterans

Many veterans suffer from PTSD, but treatment known as TMS can help

PTSD symptoms among veterans are not too different than those among the general population. They commonly include:

  • Flashbacks, or intense and vivid memories of the event that make you feel like its happening all over again
  • Avoiding people, places, or activities that bring back unwanted memories
  • Negative beliefs about yourself or the world
  • Nightmares about the trauma
  • Overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability or angry outbursts
  • Feeling jumpy or easily startled

One differentiating symptom of PTSD among war veterans is thoughts of suicide. Research shows that the most common predictor of veteran suicide is combat-related guilt. This means feeling guilty for acts committed in times of war. It may also mean guilt for having survived when fellow service members did not. More troops have died from suicide than have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

Pts In Veterans: High Prevalence Among Military Personnel5

Military service members and veterans from recent conflicts and combat are a population of special concern.

Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. has deployed more than 2.7 million men and women to support combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.7

According to the Department of Defenses 2015 evaluation of U.S. military casualty statistics5:

  • Among deployed troops, there have been over 138,000 new diagnoses of PTSD from 2000 to June 2015, as well as 40,000 diagnoses among troops not yet deployed.
  • The incidence of PTSD has increased since 2000, with a peak in 2011 and 2012.
  • Post-deployment, PTSD prevalence in U.S. infantry personnel has averaged 10%-20%, often coexisting with depression, substance misuse, and other concerns.8

Further, military personnel with a history of mild traumatic brain injury have an increased risk for developing PTSD.9,10

Among U.S. Army infantry soldiers returning from Iraq, 43.9% of those who reported a TBI with loss of consciousness also reported symptoms of PTSD.

New Diagnoses of PTSD among deployed troops, from 2000 to June 2015

The Number Of Homeless Veterans Through The Years

1.Good news: the total number of veterans without shelter is steadily decreasing

After a disappointing 2017, the number of veterans without appropriate housing decreased by over 5% in 2018. The decreasing rate has been attributed to continued commitment from local, state, and federal authorities.

Military Times

2. There was a huge drop of homeless veterans in 2018

HUD reported a decline in the number of veterans without shelter and on the streets after counting a total of 37,878 living in transitional housing, shelters, or the streets in early 2018. Compared to 2017, volunteers counted over 2,100 vets less.

Stripes

3. The number is down by 43% since 2011

Official HUD records show a sharp decline of vets without a home since 2011. According to HUDs homeless veterans statistics from 2018, the number is now well below 40,000.

4.Yet another decrease was detected in 2019

The US Department of Veterans Affairs reported a further 2.1% drop in early 2019. Thats even more vets off the streets after yet another decline the previous year. Since 2017, the number has repeatedly fallen by a few more percentages, showing that the efforts to end veterans homelessness are coming to fruition.

5.Some states have already announced an end to the problem in 2019

Read Also: What Are The Different Types Of Eating Disorders

Ptsd’s Role In Other Conditions

In addition to the symptoms of PTSD, veterans are now coping with many of the conditions that can go hand in hand. Some of these include:

  • PTSD and substance abuse: It’s thought that substance abuse occurs in roughly a third of men with PTSD. It could be that “self-medicating” may underlie some of this propensity to become addicted to alcohol or drugs.
  • Connection between PTSD and pain: Whether related to injuries from the war or one of the painful conditions which arise with age, many Vietnam veterans face chronic pain, and this pain is tied closely with PTSD. The vicious cycle can continue further as the symptoms of PTSD such as muscle tension increase pain, which in turn aggravates the symptoms of PTSD and so on.;Finally, PTSD can increase the risk of depression and substance disorders, which in turn, increases pain.
  • PTSD and depression: PTSD and depression are closely related as well with nearly half of people with PTSD experiencing clinical depression at some point in time.
  • PTSD and heart disease: As with pain, many Vietnam veterans have reached an age when heart disease is very common, and some studies point at PTSD as a risk factor for heart disease in itself. In addition, people with PTSD have an increased rate of diabetes, and diabetes, as we know, is a significant risk factor for heart disease.

What Are Avoidance Symptoms

Pagekathleen.sales, Author at PTSD Update

These include staying away from any object, event or place that reminds the sufferer of the experience. Sufferers even avoid any feelings or thoughts relating to that event. Anything that reminds the sufferer of the traumatic experience may trigger these types of symptoms. The sufferer may begin to change their personal routine to avoid any kind of reminder of the traumatic event.

You May Like: How To Overcome Blood Phobia

Helping Veterans With Ptsd

The first step involves educating yourself about how someone with PTSD typically reacts. According to the National Center for PTSD, a person with this mental health condition may appear angry, tense, or worried. They may also come across as numb, distant, or detached.

Veterans with PTSD may also be easily irritated, jumpy, or nervous, while being more demanding or protective at the same time. Intimacy issues are not uncommon with PTSD either.

All of these responses can affect family and friends, who may feel hurt, dejected, angry, or sad, especially if they dont recognize these patterns as being normal reactions to PTSD. So, creating a positive response first requires that you understand these responses enough to know they are a normal way of dealing with this condition.

The second step is to get the veteran the outside help he or she needs. This may involve counseling-type therapy sessions , or even family therapy so the everyone involved can work through the PTSD together. In this case, it helps to find a professional who specializes in the disorder.

  • a brief bio, along with qualifications and credentials
  • specialties, issues covered, and treatment approaches
  • cost per session and insurance plans accepted
  • contact information for setting up an introductory meeting

Combat Veterans Face Increased Risk

The work you did while serving can greatly impact the likelihood that you will develop PTSD. Among veterans who served in active combat, 17 percent reported symptoms of PTSD. There are several possible reasons for this.

First, combat veterans are more likely to suffer injuries in the line of duty. Physical injuries can contribute to this risk, particularly traumatic brain injuries that may affect how a veteran deals with trauma. As veterans face the struggle of physically healing from their injuries, many do not receive proper mental health care. In this way, the mental effects of trauma go untreated, which can greatly increase the risk of PTSD.

Don’t Miss: Can You Get An Emotional Support Dog For Anxiety

How Can You Help Homeless Veterans

Our vets have risked their lives in combat to protect the citizens of the US. In many ways, we owe our lives to them and should always lend a helping hand. The number of vets without shelter is on the decline which shows promise, but there are still states where its on the rise. In short, although were close to getting veterans and homeless off the streets for good, theres still a lot of work left to be done.

There are a number of obstacles the government needs to address. While the VA and other organizations and charities are doing everything they can, you can still join the good cause and help out yourself.

For starters, take a good look around your community and see whether there are any vets that require assistance. You can contact different organizations in your area and prevent them from appearing in homeless veterans statistics.

If you cant help that way, you can always donate to charities and organizations or bring the issue up by getting in touch with elected officials. Every little bit counts and these people need all the help they can get.

As the great Gandhi once said: we must be the change we want to see in the world. With your help, we can erase the question how many homeless veterans live in America? for good and give vets a chance to live the life they deserve. After all, everyone deserves a shot at a normal life, yet the vets who risked their lives for our country and the people within it deserve it all the more.

Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing

8 Things You Should Know About PTSD In Veterans

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy that can help with processing disturbing memories, thoughts, and feelings related to a traumatic event. During EMDR, the patient focuses on a back and forth movement or sound and recalls the disturbing memory until the experience of that memory shifts. The patient will also process more information about the past. It is widely agreed upon that EMDR is an effective PTSD treatment, but some disagree that the back and forth movement is necessary 6.

Don’t Miss: How Long Do Ptsd Triggers Last

What Percentage Of Veterans Suffer From Ptsd

PTSD Statistics: Prevalence Among Veterans

Clearly, determining the true prevalence of PTSD among veterans will require much further research. However, some high-quality studies may shed some light on the matter: In a 2017 study involving 5,826 United States veterans, 12.9% were diagnosed with PTSD.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd

Symptoms of this condition can vary greatly depending on factors like each individuals nervous system and how their body responds to stressful events. In most cases, these symptoms will develop in the days or weeks after a traumatic event, but in other cases may take longer periods, sometimes even years, to appear.

PTSD symptoms can generally be split into four subtypes:

  • Intrusive memories and flashbacks to the traumatic event, as well as intense reactions to anything that reminds you of the trauma.
  • Avoidance of anything that reminds you of the trauma, difficulty remembering parts of the trauma, a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, and a feeling of emotional numbness
  • Hyperarousal, which includes anything from irritability, trouble sleeping, hypervigilance , being easily startled, angry outbursts, and self-destructive behavior.
  • Negative changes in thoughts and actions such as feeling alienated and alone, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and feelings of depression, hopelessness, mistrust, guilt, or self-blame.

Recommended Reading: How To Help A Depressed Dog

Diagnoses Of Ptsd Among Us Troops

Let us first start with how many veterans are diagnosed with PTSD. According to a report by a nonprofit research organization Cohen Veterans Bioscience, more than 138,000 new PTSD diagnoses were made among the U.S. troops who were deployed from 2000 to mid-2015. As for the troops who were not yet deployed, 40,000 new PTSD diagnoses were made.

What Are The Risk Factors For Ptsd Among Military Service Members

UTHealth opens PTSD center for veterans, families

Risk factors for PTSD among people in the military include lower education status, previous traumas, drug and alcohol use, poor social support, and a history of mental illness. Prior to joining the military, if you have mental health issues, youre more likely to develop PTSD, says Bret Moore, PsyD, a prescribing psychologist and board-certified clinical psychologist in San Antonio, Texas, and author of The Posttraumatic Growth Workbook.

Genetics may also make certain individuals more predisposed to developing PTSD than others. In a study in Molecular Psychiatry, 29 percent of a group of American and European women who had PTSD had a genetic risk factor for the mental illness. They also found that those people who had other mental illnesses were at a higher risk for developing PTSD after exposure to trauma.

Don’t Miss: How To Avoid Social Phobia

Veterans Statistics: Ptsd Depression Tbi Suicide

The following veterans statistics are from a major study done by the RAND Corporation, a study by the Congressional Research Service, the Veterans Administration, and the US Surgeon General.

PTSD statistics are a moving target that is fuzzy: do you look only at PTSD diagnosed within one year of return from battle? Do you only count PTSD that limits a soldiers ability to go back into battle or remain employed, but that may have destroyed a marriage or wrecked a family? Do you look at the PTSD statistics for PTSD that comes up at any time in a persons life: it is possible to have undiagnosed PTSD for 30 years and not realize itpossibly never or until you find a way to get better and then you realize there is another way to live. When you count the PTSD statistic of what percentage of a population gets PTSD, is your overall starting group combat veterans, veterans who served in the target country, or all military personnel for the duration of a war?

There is a similar problem with suicide statistics. The DoD and their researchers tend to lose track of military personnel once they retire, and not all suicides will be counted as a military suicide . A recent study found U.S. veteran suicide rates to be be as high as 5,000 a year.

Measures Taken To Reduce The Percentage Of Homeless Veterans

38. Rapid re-housing by the SSVF

One of the recent measures on homelessness, rapid re-housing, was created by the Supportive Services for Veteran Families. Implemented by the VA, the program has already taken shape and is providing outstanding results thus far. It aims to provide housing to vets who are currently homeless, with tens of thousands of vets already seeing the benefits.

NAEH

39. How many homeless veterans have stable housing? A few, thanks to various charities

The HUD has a long-standing commitment to helping vets in need. The agency has three main programs that support this goal HUD-VASH , HPRP , and CoC .

HUD-VASH is a collaboration between the HUD and VA which combines HUDs housing vouchers with VAs supportive services to help all homeless veterans and their families.

USDVA

40. Charities provide help to different groups veterans and the homeless

Charities such as DAV help vets live a life with dignity by ensuring that they can access a full range of benefits at their disposal. Other charities that aim to help include Volunteers of America, US Vets, and IAVA.

41. VAs HCHV program is operating at over 100 sites

The VAs Health Care program for vets experiencing homelessness operates at 133 sites and includes health care services, treatments, referrals, and case management. It assesses over 40,000 homeless veterans per year and helps prevent mental disorders and a slew of other health problems among vets such as depression.

Military Wallet

Recommended Reading: What Is The Rarest Phobia

Avoidance Of Reminders Of Traumatic Events

Because recalling traumatic events can be emotionally distressing, many individuals with PTSD avoid people, places, or things that might remind them of these experiences. Either intentionally or unconsciously, people with a diagnosis of PTSD typically steer clear of stressors that might trigger the painful thoughts and feelings associated with their trauma.

Among veterans with PTSD, this avoidance might involve resisting discussion of their military service or withdrawing from friendships with fellow service members. Post-deployment, veterans may rebuff questions from family members and loved ones about their combat experiences.

For many veterans with PTSD, seeking help may be extremely challenging, as doing so will likely involve direct discussion of their trauma. This barrier, coupled with our cultures general stigma regarding mental illness, causes far too many veterans to avoid the mental health care they need.

New Ongoing And Published Research

Iraq Veteran: I Cant Count How Many Times I Almost Died

VA researchers are looking at potential new approaches for treating and preventing mental health disorders. They are also working on related projects such as developing and evaluating collaborative primary care models and improving access to services from rural and other remote areas by using the internet and other technologies.

Among the areas VA researchers are focusing on are mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder; psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia; PTSD and other anxiety conditions; and substance use disorders. VA investigators are highly organized in identifying, testing, and confirming new treatments for PTSD, especially focused on medications through the PTSD Psychopharmacology Initiative.

VA investigators are also looking at the co-occurrence of mental health issues and physical disordersâfor instance, depression in those with spinal cord injury, or substance use disorder in patients with chronic pain.

The National Research Action Plan is a wide-reaching plan developed in 2013 by VA and the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Education. The plan is designed to improve access to mental health services for Veterans, service members, and military families.

Implementation of the plan will improve scientific understanding of PTSD, traumatic brain injury , various co-occurring conditions, and suicide. Other goals of the plan include providing effective treatments for these diseases and reducing their occurrence.

Read Also: What Phobia Is Fear Of Snakes

Why Do So Many Veterans Have Ptsd

How does trauma on the battlefield results in the life-altering symptoms of PTSD? Brain chemistry. When youre in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, your brain produces stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

PTSD develops when your stress response system gets dysregulated. Your brain gets stuck in fight-or-flight mode. This may make you feel threatened and on-edge when you arent in actual danger.

The types of trauma service members are exposed tohorrible and shocking violence, death, and sexual traumaall activate the fight-or-flight response. They flood your body with stress hormones and can easily lead to your brain getting stuck in danger mode.

Its well understood that many veterans face the lasting impact of witnessing violence in wartime, but another type of trauma that any soldier may face at any time is sexual trauma. This happens to both men and women but is more likely to happen to women in the military.

Its estimated that in 2018 about 13,000 women and 7,500 men were sexually assaulted. Military sexual trauma, or MST, is a major cause of PTSD among veterans but one that people dont talk as much about because it often goes unreported.

More articles

Popular Articles