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PTSD and Military Concerns

While serving in the military, you may see combat. You may go on missions that expose you to life-threatening experiences. You may be shot at, see a buddy get shot, or see death. These are types of events that can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Other things about a combat situation can add more stress to an already stressful situation. These things include:

  • What you do in the war

  • Politics around the war

  • Where it's fought

  • Type of enemy you face

Factors like this may also contribute to the development of PTSD and other mental health problems.

Not all traumatic events that military members experience happen in a combat zone. For example, training accidents can occur stateside. Another cause of PTSD in the military can be military sexual trauma (MST). This is any experience of sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurs while you are in the military. MST can happen to men and women and can occur during peacetime, training, or war.

Getting treatment

Anyone may feel there are barriers to getting care for PTSD. You may feel that treatment won't help, or worry about what people will think. If you are a Veteran, your military background may add other pressures that keep you from seeking treatment. You may feel that it will hurt your career, or that those in your unit will lose faith in you. You may fear that your unit will see you as weak, or that treatment is for those who had it worse than you.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has many programs for Veterans and their families who are concerned about PTSD and related problems. There are effective treatments for PTSD. If you are a Veteran, contact your local VA. You can find help with treatment and resources specific to MST at any VA Medical Center. There are also resources to support you with jobs, housing, and family support.

For more information

Military Sexual Trauma

Getting Treatment for PTSD

Treatment for PTSD  

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 2/1/2018
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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