Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, is "an anxiety disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a traumatic event. A traumatic event is a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood," according to the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (NCPSD) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 
According to the NCPSD Fact Sheet: "Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD.
"People with PTSD experience three different kinds of symptoms. The first set of symptoms involves reliving the trauma in some way such as becoming upset when confronted with a traumatic reminder or thinking about the trauma when you are trying to do something else. The second set of symptoms involves either staying away from places or people that remind you of the trauma, isolating from other people, or feeling numb. The third set of symptoms includes things such as feeling on guard, irritable, or startling easily.
"In addition to the symptoms described above, we now know that there are clear biological changes that are associated with PTSD. PTSD is complicated by the fact that people with PTSD often may develop additional disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. These problems may lead to impairment of the person’s ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and family problems.
"PTSD can be treated with with psychotherapy ('talk' therapy) and medicines such as antidepressants. Early treatment is important and may help reduce long-term symptoms. Unfortunately, many people do not know that they have PTSD or do not seek treatment. This fact sheet will help you to better understand PTSD and the how it can be treated."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website and Fact Sheet.
- "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resources," Iraq War Veterans Organization, Inc. website.
- Guidelines for Clincians: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Deployment Health Medical Center.
- PTSD Alliance website.
- PTSD Support Services website.
Web Forums / Blogs / Message Boards
- PTSD Combat Blogspot.
- PTSD Forum website.
Online Publications & Resources
- MSG. I. S. Parrish, USA Retired, Military Veterans PTSD Reference Manual, ISBN 0741400774, Published by Infinity Publishing, Last Updated November 27, 2006.
- PTSD Resources, ePluribus Media.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, MayoClinic.com.
- Rape-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, National Center for Victims of Crime.
- PDS® (Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale), Pearson Assessments.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder in the Wikipedia.
Articles & Commentary
- "Fewer Vietnam Vets Suffer From PTSD. But Study Shows Post-Traumatic Stress Levels Still Quite High," WebMD (CBS News), August 17, 2006.
- Krisha McCoy, "PTSD Patients Have Diminished Pain Response," HealthDay News (JAMA/Archives news release), January 8, 2007.
And the war in Iraq
- "1 in 8 returning soldiers suffers from PTSD. But less than half with problems seek help, report finds," Associated Press (MSNBC), June 30, 2004.
- D.E. Ford, Jeff Huber, and I.L. Meagher, "Blaming the Veteran: The Politics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder": Introduction, ePluribus Media, February 11, 2006; Part I: "Stacking the Deck"; Part II: "Ration & Redefine"; and Part III: "Malign & Slime."
- Christian Nordqvist, "One Third Of Iraq Veterans With Mental Health Problems," Medical News Today, March 1, 2006.
- Ann Scott Tyson, "Repeat Iraq Tours Raise Risk of PTSD, Army Finds," Washington Post, December 20, 2006.
- Press Release: "U.S. Iraq War Veterans with PTSD Suffer Significant Physical Health Problems," American Psychiatric Association, January 1, 2007.
- Bob Geiger, "Young Marine dies of PTSD -- and Neglect," Bob Geiger Blogspot, January 31, 2007.
- Andrew Weaver and Ray McGovern, "Troops Return to Painful Wait for Needed Help," Baltimore Sun (Common Dreams), February 4, 2007: "The California Nurses Association reported that in the first quarter of 2006, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 'treated 20,638 Iraq veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder, and they have a backlog of 400,000 cases.' A returning soldier has to wait an average of 165 days for a VA decision on initial disability benefits, and an appeal can take up to three years."
- Ezra Klein, "PTSD: Treating The Numbers, Not The Soldiers," EzraKlein Blog, February 18, 2007.
- ilona, "Government Contractors: Hidden Casualties, PTSD," ePluribus Media, February 27, 2007.
- Sami Beg, M.D., "Mental Health Disorders Common in Returning Troops. Nearly One-Third of Veterans Can't Leave Trauma Behind, New Study Suggests," ABC News, March 12, 2007.
- Andrew Stern, "US war veterans need more mental help-study," AlertNet/Reuters, March 12, 2007.
- Stacy Bannerman, "A Perfect Storm: PTSD," Foreign Policy In Focus, March 12, 2007.
- Claudia Wallis, "Casualty of War: Mental Health," TIME Magazine/CNN, March 12, 2007.
- Robert Bazell, "Tracking post-traumatic stress in vets difficult. Soldiers routinely returned to duty because symptoms aren't obvious," NBC Nightly News/MSNBC, March 12, 2007.
- "Study: Thousands of veterans return with mental illness," CNN, March 13, 2007.
- Nancy Shute, "The War's Mounting Mental Toll," U.S. News & World Report, March 13, 2007.
- Christian Lowe, "Mental Illness Plagues Current Vets," Military.com, March 14, 2007.
- Graham Rayman, "VA reports mental issues for veterans," Newsday, March 14, 2007.