Statistics On Ptsd Treatment And Outlook
PTSD treatment is becoming increasingly available, and PTSD treatment statistics indicate a positive outlook for treatment.One study found that as many as 46 percent of people with PTSD improved within six weeks of beginning psychotherapy. Researchers have found that as many as62 percent of people receiving medication for PTSD show improvement. The VA recognizes the need for PTSD treatment for veterans, and PTSD treatment is now available at all VA locations. There are alsonearly 200 VA locations with specialized PTSD programs.
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Symptoms of PTSD. Anxiety and Depression Society of America. Accessed March 21, 2019.
How Common is PTSD in Adults? U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Accessed June 27, 2019.
How Race Affects Ptsd Rates
People of color face unique challenges in their day-to-day lives and are more likely to have experienced other forms of trauma before enlisting in the military. As such, it should be no surprise that PTSD rates for deployed Veterans are highest among Veterans of color:
- 21.9% of deployed African American Veterans meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis
- 19.7% of deployed Hispanic Veterans meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis
- 16.2% of deployed non-Hispanic other race Veterans meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis
- 14.1% of deployed white non-Hispanic Veterans meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis
Engrossing Ptsd Suicide Statistics
PTSD is a common condition that is experienced by a wide variety of different people throughout the world. The most common belief is that PTSD is only experienced by veterans who are returning from their service but in reality, PTSD is the result of any traumatic event that is experienced by an individual. PTSD is a difficult condition to live with as it can bring forth an ample amount of negative effects such as inability to sleep, extreme anxiety, and even depression. With that being said, it is also the leading cause for suicide around the world.
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How Common Is Ptsd In Adults
Posttraumatic stress disorder can occur after you have been through a trauma. A trauma is a shocking and dangerous event that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger.
Going through trauma is not rare. About 6 of every 10 men and 5 of every 10 women experience at least one trauma in their lives. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Men are more likely to experience accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or to witness death or injury.
PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will develop PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, if you were directly exposed to the trauma or injured, you are more likely to develop PTSD.
Prevalence Of Ptsd In Veterans
Estimates of PTSD prevalence rates among returning service members vary widely across wars and eras. In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5% of deployed and nondeployed veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20% to 30%., As many as 500,000 U.S. troops who served in these wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD.
It is not clear if PTSD is more common in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans than in those of previous conflicts, but the current wars present a unique set of circumstances that contribute heavily to mental health problems. According to Paula P. Schnurr, PhD, Executive Director of the VA National Center for PTSD, the urban-style warfare tactics in Afghanistan and Iraq, marked by guerrilla attacks, roadside improvised explosive devices, and the uncertain distinction between safe zones and battle zones, may trigger more post-traumatic stress in surviving military members than conventional fighting.
In addition, Dr. Schnurr notes, improvements in protective gear and battlefield medicine have greatly increased survivabilitybut at a high price. Between the way were protecting the troops and responding to injuries on the ground, a lot of soldiers are surviving with very significant injuries who would not necessarily have survived before, she says. And theyre returning stateside with both the physical and psychological trauma.
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Complementary And Alternative Practices
CAM approaches that have demonstrated some clinical benefits for returning service members with PTSD include meditation mind-body practices like yoga and biofeedback, a form of treatment that involves learning to monitor and control bodily functions like heart rate and blood pressure through the help of electrical sensors. One form of biofeedback that may be useful for PTSD is cardiac coherence training .9
Just How Prevalent Is Ptsd In The Military
The percentage of veterans affected by PTSD varies:
Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom: Between 11 and 20 percent of veterans.
Gulf War: About 12 percent of veterans
Vietnam War: Studies suggest about 15 percent of veterans, yet its estimated that about 30 percent have had PTSD in their lifetime.
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Understanding A Veteran With Ptsd
Servicemen and women oftentimes face unique challenges when leaving active duty and readjusting to civilian life.
As explained by U.S. Veterans Magazine, these challenges include
- discovering ways to re-establish their roles within the family,
- having to find and obtain a civilian job ,
- and adjusting to a life that involves making their own choices versus being told what to do, how to do it, and when.
However, sometimes soldiers also return home with challenges related to their mental wellbeing as a result of what theyve witnessed while on active duty. And one of the most common mental challenges is post-traumatic stress disorder .
What To Do If You Are A Veteran With Ptsd
If you are diagnosed with PTSD, you may be eligible to receive significant compensation from the VA. In order to qualify for disability benefits for PTSD, youll need to file a claim with the VA first. You can submit a VA disability claim by mail or drop one off at your regional VA office. Once you have submitted a claim, the VA will begin its decision-making process regarding whether they will give you benefits for your disability.
To qualify a Veteran for benefits, the VA has to rule that the Veterans disability is service-related. In many cases, mental health issues like PTSD are assessed inaccurately by the VA. Conditions like PTSD can be more challenging for the VA to assess and connect to military service. However, independent medical records, military service records, and testimonials from trusted friends and fellow soldiers can help make a case to the VA that your PTSD is linked directly to your military service.
Anyone filing a claim with the VA to receive disability benefits must take the VAs Compensation & Pension exam. The C& P exam involves a basic physical and psychological examination that can influence the VAs decision regarding your claim. In order to qualify you for disability benefits for PTSD, the VA will need to verify that there is a connection between your disability and your military service. The information gathered through the C& P exam helps the VA establish this connection.
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Gender Disparities In Ptsd Diagnoses
While PTSD is very common amongst men and women, statistics show that there is a significant gender difference in the prevalence of the condition. According to the National Center for PTSD, around 10 percent of women have PTSD at some point in their lives as compared to 4 percent of men.
Previous research has examined whether males or females are more at risk for potentially traumatic events and PTSD. Results found that while males have a higher risk for traumatic events, women suffer from higher PTSD rates. Importantly, PTSD rates were still higher for women even when both genders were compared on the same type of traumatic event. The researchers concluded that PTSD may be diagnosed more in women in part because of the criteria used to define it . Specifically, cognitive and emotional responses to traumatic events make a diagnosis of PTSD more likely. Therefore, even though men may experience more traumas, they do not seem to have the same emotional responses to such traumatic events. With that being said, a reason that men may not fit the current diagnosable criteria of PTSD is that their symptoms may manifest differently. In the study referenced, male participants were less likely to report anxiety or depression, but were more likely to report drug use, irritability, and violence. Such symptoms could be misattributed to other mental health conditions.
First World War: Shell Shock
The prolonged duration of the First World War, and the enormous casualty rate, saw the birth of military psychiatry.At that time, the Canadian medical profession was heavily influenced and shaped by the United States and United Kingdom. Combat-related emotional trauma became known as shell shock or lhypnose des batailles. The term shell shock capturedBritish ambivalence about whether the symptoms found in soldiers who did not show obvious wounds were of a physical or psychological nature. Dr. Donald Campbell Meyers , a neurologist who opened a psychiatry ward at the Toronto General Hospitalin 1906, came to view shell shock as a functional or traumatic neurosis.
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Coping Methods For Managing Ptsd Symptoms
Beyond formal mental health care approaches, several self-help methods may prove valuable in managing PTSD symptoms. These practices are widely recommended by mental health experts as solutions that veterans can utilize in their spare time or when exposed to particular stressors. These techniques may be suggested as a complement to ongoing mental health treatment.
- Physical activity: Exercise can help relieve stress and elevate ones mood.
- Aromatherapy: Certain smells, such as orange essential oil, may mitigate negative emotions associated with PTSD.
- Mindfulness practices: From formal meditation to simply noticing ones senses, practicing being present can reduce trauma reactivity.
- Deep breathing:This seemingly simple technique can be surprisingly effective, and is available anytime, anywhere.
What You Should Know About The Symptoms Of Ptsd
Like many mental health issues, there is no single tell-tale sign of PTSD. There are a variety of symptoms that can be associated with the condition. Many of those may seem relatively harmless on their own such as bad dreams, sleeplessness, irritability, etc.
But in conjunction with other symptoms, may lead a health professional to conclude that further exploration is necessary to rule out or confirm PTSD as a possible cause.
Those who suffer from PTSD may find their symptoms fall within a certain range of experiences rather than a specific part of life. I get irrationally angry when red cars drive past me on the freeway is a legitimate sign of possible PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms. It may be less specific and easily defined as, I get irrationally angry when I hear sounds of cars driving past me.
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Work Through Survivors Guilt
Feelings of guilt are very common among veterans with PTSD. You may have seen people injured or killed, often your friends and comrades. In the heat of the moment, you dont have time to fully process these events as they happen. But lateroften when youve returned homethese experiences come back to haunt you. You may ask yourself questions such as:
- Why didnt I get hurt?
- Why did I survive when others didnt?
- Could I have done something differently to save them?
You may end up blaming yourself for what happened and believing that your actions led to someone elses death. You may feel like others deserved to live more than youthat youre the one who should have died. This is survivors guilt.
Sexual Assault In The Military
Sexual misconduct is disturbingly common within the United States military. In fact, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs coined the term military sexual trauma to describe all forms of sexual assault or harassment experienced during military service. Survivors of these acts of sexual aggression often experience PTSD, as do survivors of sexual assault in civilian life.
Statistics pertaining to sexual assault in the military are alarming, including the following data points:
- Twenty-three percent of female veterans reported sexual assault while serving in the military.
- 55 percent of female veterans and 38% of male veterans experienced sexual harassment while serving in the military.
- Though stereotypes suggest survivors of sexual assault are predominantly female, more than half of veterans with military sexual trauma are men.
Trauma stemming from sexual harassment and assault can be no less devastating to veterans than experiences of combat, and prevention is a stated priority for U.S. Department of Defence. Additionally, VA health care facilities often offer services specifically designed for veterans who were sexually assaulted while serving.
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Ptsd Time Frame: How Symptoms Develop And Last
In the days immediately following a traumatic event, people often experience symptoms similar to those described above. However, PTSD involves the sustained presence of these mental health problems over a longer period.
In order to meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD, veterans symptoms must last for at least one month often, they persist for years. Additionally, symptoms do not necessarily begin immediately following the trauma. While most individuals with PTSD experience symptoms within three months of the traumatic events in question, symptoms can also appear post-deployment. For veterans with PTSD, symptoms may emerge weeks or months after a period of combat or active-duty service.
Ptsd Leads To Addiction
Without the proper tools, veterans often turn to substance abuse as a means to cope. In fact, one study of Vietnam veterans found that 74% of the veterans had co-occurring substance use disorders. For these veterans and many like them, their mental health suffered as a result of PTSD, which led to them developing issues like alcoholism and drug addiction.
But why is this such a common issue for veterans? Well, one explanation is that veterans lack community support. Veterans often struggle to readjust to civilian life, and lack of knowledge about veteran rehabilitation resources can make them feel isolated and without help. With seemingly nobody to turn to, addiction flourishes in vulnerable veteran communities.
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Ptsd In Persian Gulf War Veterans
Although the Persian Gulf War was brief, its impact was no less traumatic than other wars. From the time the Persian Gulf War ended in 1991 to now, veterans have reported a number of physical and mental health problems.
Studies examining the mental health of Persian Gulf War veterans are mixed, with some findings indicating that the rates of PTSD stemming from the Gulf war were lower than other wars, ranging from 816%. Some of these estimated rates are higher than what has been found among veterans not deployed to the Persian Gulf.
One In Five Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Suffer From Ptsd Or Major Depression
ThursdayApril 17, 2008
Nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan 300,000 in all report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slightly more than half have sought treatment, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
In addition, researchers found about 19 percent of returning service members report that they experienced a possible traumatic brain injury while deployed, with 7 percent reporting both a probable brain injury and current PTSD or major depression.
Many service members said they do not seek treatment for psychological illnesses because they fear it will harm their careers. But even among those who do seek help for PTSD or major depression, only about half receive treatment that researchers consider “minimally adequate” for their illnesses.
In the first analysis of its kind, researchers estimate that PTSD and depression among returning service members will cost the nation as much as $6.2 billion in the two years following deployment an amount that includes both direct medical care and costs for lost productivity and suicide. Investing in more high-quality treatment could save close to $2 billion within two years by substantially reducing those indirect costs, the 500-page study concludes.
“It’s going to take system-level changes not a series of small band-aids to improve treatments for these illnesses,” Tanielian said.
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Take Care Of Your Body
The symptoms of PTSD, such as insomnia, anger, concentration problems, and jumpiness, can be hard on your body and eventually take a toll on your overall health. Thats why its so important to take care of yourself.
You may be drawn to activities and behaviors that pump up adrenaline, whether its caffeine, drugs, violent video games, driving recklessly, or daredevil sports. After being in a combat zone, thats what feels normal. But if you recognize these urges for what they are, you can make better choices that will calm and protect your bodyand your mind.
Take time to relax.Relaxation techniques such as massage, meditation, or yoga can reduce stress, ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression, help you sleep better, and increase feelings of peace and well-being.
Find safe ways to blow off steam. Pound on a punching bag, pummel a pillow, go for a hard run, sing along to loud music, or find a secluded place to scream at the top of your lungs.
Support your body with a healthy diet. Omega-3s play a vital role in emotional health so incorporate foods such as fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts into your diet. Limit processed and fried food, sugars, and refined carbs which can exacerbate mood swings and energy fluctuations.