Helping Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most common ailment of many combat veterans returning home after tours in war zones. The causes can range from witnessing traumatic events to causing them.  While these soldiers are performing jobs they are expected to do as an enlisted military personnel, but such difficult tasks are unfathomable for most of the civilian population.  In many cases, many dedicated soldiers do not fully understand what they are expected to do, but are merely following orders.  Post traumatic stress disorder can ruin lives if not properly dealt with.  Countless young men and women go into the military as one person and come out an altered version of who they used to be.  Thankfully, there are resources available, for those who suffer from PTSD, through the Veterans Administration.

 The Veterans Administration PTSD Treatment Programs

The Veterans Administration (VA), realizing that there is a need for treatment programs for veterans suffering from PTSD, strives to accommodate those in need. Because PTSD has become something of an epidemic among soldiers and veterans there are extensive educational and therapeutic programs at every VA clinic across the country.  The growing demand for such services has grown to the point that there are at least 200 PTSD specialized treatment centers throughout the US.

Treatment plans vary depending upon the severity of the psychological damage caused by PTSD.  The VA offers medication and psychotherapy for veterans, as well as family counseling.  It is well-known that PTSD can have a very detrimental effect on the family life of those who are afflicted with the disorder.  Because of this, the family counseling was developed to help keep families together while dealing with the aftermath of acute stress experienced by the soldier or veteran.

According to the VA, the most effective treatment plan is Prolonged Exposure, which consists of 4 stages of therapy. The first is education, helping veterans to gain an understanding of the disorder helps to eliminate some of the fear and confusion experienced. The second stage includes breathing exercises as an aid in relaxation.  The third stage is real world practice, or exposure to situations that may be seen as dangerous, but are really not.  This is similar to how people with phobias overcome them by facing their fear, in essence exposure to the real world is a way for those with PTSD to face their fears.  The final stage of this plan is talking through the trauma, or psychotherapy.

Treatment plans can go as far as to assist veterans in finding housing, employment, and addressing any other vital needs of qualifying veterans. Disability benefits for Veterans are available to those who qualify, due to the fact that some PTSD sufferers are rendered unable to work.

 Who Qualifies for Treatment?

Veterans, who have served in any of the branches of the military and show symptoms of PTSD, are eligible for treatment through the Veterans Administration.  One disqualifier for treatment, however, is a dishonorable discharge.  Under special circumstances, the VA will provide treatment to active duty soldiers and their families as well.  PTSD effects the mental and physical well-being of many military veterans.  If you are a veteran, you proudly served your country and risked your life to keep your country safe; you deserve to live a life full of health and happiness.

Therapy options through the VA