PTSD Resources When You Need Them



We’re right in the middle of PTSD Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to take a look at some of the resources from VA at your disposal.

The National Center for PTSD has put together a video series exploring the different aspects and consequences of post-traumatic stress. In the first series, How I knew I had PTSD, a Veteran explains how he came to understand the issues he was having. You’ll find links to PTSD symptoms, a trauma symptom checklist, and more information about the PTSD Coach mobile app.

In the second series, My family suffered, a female Veteran explores how her isolated behavior affected her loved ones. Go to the link to learn more about how PTSD can affect your family, tips on how couples can cope with mental health challenges, and more.

For the rest of the month, the page will be updated with more stories and resources, so check back often. If you’re in crisis and need help immediately, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, or text 838255. It’s also a good idea to put that number into your phone now to have just in case.

Author

Alex Horton

Comments

  1. Anonymous    

    I am 55 years old and was raped by my recruiter in 1975 the night before I went to boot camp for the US Navy.
    I lived 36 years with PTSD, anxiety, panic, depression. My civilian doctor insisted that I needed counseling and more help than she could provide, medications were not helping. I would wind up in the Emergency Room at least 4 times a year with severe panic attacks even being held overnight in the Coronory Care Unit because they were so sure I was having heart problems.
    I contacted the VA finally in October of 2011. This is when my nightmare became worse. Their programs for veterans is a JOKE!
    I am so sorry I ever contacted them I have become so much worse and retraumatized since entering this “Twilight Zone” of so called help.
    I have relinquished myself to the fact that I will live the rest of my life just as I have the past 36 years if not worse now.

  2. Jerry    

    Yes, I also have been diagnosed with severe PTSD by a civilian & VA physician.
    Served 17 months during the VietNam War & was stationed in Taiwan. I was designated the MOS of a “cook”, but was actually attached to a special team doing special assignments all over the jungles of Cambodia, Laos & VietNam. But since I have not evidence or orders showing any other MOS, jobs, or special assignments other than “cook” my claim has been denied (all my orders are blacked out & not legible). I probably was also exposed to Agent Orange since I have several of the ailments that’s now connected to Agent Orange, but can not claim that either. I was also injured by shrape metal during a firebombing of my base & was given a Purple Heart in the field & that was never placed in my personnel records or medical records. I feel my family & I are being punished for my service to my country. As a service member you just do what you are told by your superiors, suck it up, & don’t question.

  3. rc    

    When i went in for my C/P exam for PTSD, the so called doctor said that i do have PTSD but couldnt find a stressor, but what amazes me most is i was in firefights constantly. l explained several things i endured, including my best friend dieing in my arms and feeling helpless not being able to save his life. I could tell that doctor/clinician or what ever his title was, had no clue as to what a veteran truely has to endure while in firefights. I just dont get the whole process of dening all these claims and making so many veterans have to appeal because of wrong ratings or just plain out dening the claim the first time around. What a disgrace to this country.

    1. Anonymous    

      Contact VETWOW they have advocates that will help you through the claim system.
      They have a Face Book page, a You Tube page and a website.

  4. Elaine Buzzinotti    

    I am a psychiatric nurse, with registration in PA, presently living in upstate NY.
    I am seeking to have my license activated in NY.
    During my extensive experience in working in the behavioral sciences, and with an awareness of the growing numbers of our veterans returning with PTSD, I am desirous of being of assistance to them and their families.

    As I pursue NY licensure, and as the Veterans Administration is a federal entity, it seems that I could arguably qualify for employment at the federal level, by using my PA nursing license. Reading the accounts of the many women and men and their families who are suffering with this painful disorder and the increasing rate of suicide, I would like to be of assisstance, as the system seems to be in need of mental health professionals. I also have a masters degree in clinical psychology and am a certified hospice chaplain. I believe that my combination of education and experience could be made to fruitful use for those in need. Hopefully someone in a HR capacity will see this posting as I continue to search for a way to be of assistance. To those who are suffering, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Alex    

    I knew I suffer from PTSD seven years ago but never reported it as such. Two different Military Mental Health personnel asked me about the issue but I was never tested or diagnosed. Now that I heard more about the issue, I would like to get help but still do not trust the system. Can I get help from a ilian faciility?

  6. Nancy    

    And waiting again…

  7. Nancy    

    I have had a PTSD with depression claim in since 2006. Right now, it is in appeals to the Board of Review at the highest level and that went in the end of August 2011 and I, too, am still waiting for results. Hopefully, it will come back rated this time. If not, I will file it again. All of this and I used to work in Mental Health. I hear everyone saying it is not taking so long now. I tell you that is BS.

  8. Janet Jennings    

    I’m very tired of the VA thinking that PTSD is only caused by combat. Also, if I hadn’t seen the notice on this website about it being PTSD Awareness Month, I would have never have known. You’d think the individual VAMC’s would be doing something.

    1. Cindy Cowell    

      I have had non-combat PTSD since 1979. Had two congressmen fought on my behalf for my service connected rating for over 10 years. Back-pay went only for 2 years and a wrong diagnosis due to the fact the “book” does not recognise PTSD comming from any other trauma than combat! You are not alone, and there are many others who have suffered multiple traumas(complex PTSD) which the review board does not have a rating for either. I can not even get fee basis for treatment now due to “Tele-prompt” counseling which does not offer EMDR! So I go with out treatment and live in a severe depression and do not leave my home but to get food! Some support for my enlistment huh? !

  9. Allen Cheesman    

    Why does it take so long for a decision once all evidences has been provided/received? The pain, PTSD, and significant medications (polypharmacy concerns) that I am on are very real! As a retired Command Sergeant Major I am deeply concerned as to not only why my claim is taking so long, but how many other Wounded Ill Injured Warriors and their Families are suffering because of this lag. Speaking of PTSD and behavioral health, the VA has known about my issues now for 4.5 years since I retired and I have NEVER heard from the VA regarding behavioral health treatment nor for the PTSD that I suffer. I finally reached some assistance through referral to a TriCare network provider and all they wanted to do is throw medication at me. I wonder how many other veterans were quietly retired/transitioned with the same issues and never contacted for treatment…..probably tens of thousands. The Houston Regional Office has had all of the evidence required for my claim as well as my pending appeal. In fact, I signed the waiver for the Houston Regional Office to expedite my appeal. This needs to be addressed in the news media and the congressional channels to ensure that remedies are applied immediately. I expect an answer. Thank you.

    1. Jackie    

      I have insomnia so I’m up all night. I try and think of ways that I can help other Vets. If you call your doctor or VA every other day, write them e-mails and letters and keep copies of them and once you get fed up (six months is my limit). Write them a letter (intelligent) telling them how unprofessional you feel their service has been and let them know that you are going to file a formal complaint to the head of their department. Then you will get some answers. You don’t have to be rude about it. I think if they send out a letter telling Vets that you are still working their case, is better than not hearing anything from them at all,when you write them or call them you should tell them that. I like e-mails because I can keep a copy of what I wrote to them and the response from them and a date. Save them, they come in handy. Go to the patient advocacy in the VA, that is their job to help you when you feel you are not getting the help you know you deserve. I think they are back logged and they need more workers, but that is not our fault, if we pressure them, then they should pressure the powers that be to get more help, because as soon as one of us go off (hurt or curse) someone we will be labeled crazy. Talk to the Vets around you and try to make their day better, don’t sit around and complain with one another, use that energy to focus on a solution. I have a lot of bad painful days, but I talk myself into good days as much as I can and I pass it on to others when ever I can. I pass on any information that I learn new. Ask to see their supervisors, if you receive an email, save it and it they cc someone on the e-mail they send to you, ensure you add those cc people to the e-mails you send back to them, because I think those cc are people in the know. Don’t give up, that’s what they want you to do. If we tell or children and the children around us not to go into the military because of the way you are treated when you get out, they will have to go back to the draft because no one will want to go in. We deserve better and we have to stand up for it. Civilians in this country don’t have a clue of how hard we work while we are in the military and the things we have to do once we get out. I call and e-mail HLN all the time, I make sure I don’t sound like a lunatic or someone with a vendetta, they know me by my name and they publish my ideas and air my points of view a lot. The Army was a good job for me and helped me grow, but there has to be a better way to treat us once we are out and after we have given up so much to protect our country…

    2. helper    

      I’m neither a moderator, nor speaking for the VA. I’m not sure if this answers your concern, but there is a big difference between disability payment and service connection (VA benefits), and actual mental health treatment. They are not connected, and are completely different entities within the VA system. It’s a common misconception among veterans and general public that they are the same thing. The VBA is not going to follow up with you on your mental health, or any other medical care, for that matter. If you want treatment you can go the closest VA medical center and set up an appointment with mental health. If you are awarded service connection and disability compensation by VBA, mental health care, travel pay, etc…, may be covered by the VA. But you have to actually seek services. And you qualify for services just by being a veteran. You do not have to wait for service connection. Hope this helps.

  10. Ronnie    

    “We are still seeing a lot of Vietnam Veterans with signs of PTSD,” said Carvin Harmon, social worker on the RHI team. “These Veterans are asking for help and don’t know where to turn. Whether they are World War II Vets, Vietnam Vets, or OEF/OIF Vets, our team is traveling to their communities to meet them in person, answer their questions, and let them know that VA is here for them.” (Source: VA Performance and Accountability Report 2011). I can expose this statement as a lie: Three (3) VA
    doctors refused medical treatment to me and they refused to refill active VA anti-psychotic medications, Sarasota FL. So, I believe my experience or the VA self-generated performance report? I believe my direct experience. The VA doctors denied medical treatment for me.

  11. Christine Milbury    

    Just curious about if a victim was being pressured beyond imagining while experiencing symptoms of PTSD, could the person’s brain begin to see exaggerated versions of what it was actually seeing? This person experienced this and eventually had a psychotic break down. The things they were seeing were real and witnesses saw them at first but then the victim began experiencing so much unimaginable stress and pressure, alone, that the immages began to become totally distorted and exaggerated. Is this commone under unimaginable stress at a critical point where help was not available? If so, how common?

  12. Ronnie    

    And now I wait three days for “moderation” of my posts. Does “moderation” activity mean not posting a critical analysis of VA practices? If yes, then the “moderation” activity would not post the VA Performance and Accountability Report 2011 which is the source I employed to suport my analysis. In that case, then, “moderation” activity is censorship, and censorship for a cause: the cause being there will be not critical analysis of VA activities. And that is the cause of VA failing to get medical treatment to a veteran.

  13. Ronnie    

    The entire Performance and Accountability Report is based on data keyed in by VA people themselves. To give an example of the absurdity of this practice: appointments for veterans, of course electronic practices improve the overall system, common sense here; the point is that VA people keyed in that the veterans cancelled his/her appointment. The fact, however, is that the VA person, of some status in the facility, cancelled the appointment for whatever reason. The result in the Performance and Accountability Report is positive for the VA agency itself; but, the actual fact is that the VA agency failed to administer medical treatment to another veteran for a long period of time.

  14. Ronnie    

    I just read, studied, and analyzed the VA Performance and Accountability Report published November 15, 2011. My first observation that it is all in-house investigation, compilation, and reporting by the VA itself. Any self-respecting agency any respecting organization/corporation/church will contract an independent firm to investigate performance. An objective performance report also will include veteran input other than a survey sent to a veteran days after the veteran’s annual
    visit. The veteran is so happy to have received an appointment that the joy spills over into an inflated response. common knowledge here.

  15. Ronnie    

    A valid test for the VA agency sincerety is this blog available for comments from veterans. The posts are “moderated.” Which is a ephemism for the comments are being censored – – for what kind of comments? A list of critieria is helpful in order for one to avoid wasting time addressing the VA on its blog. In other words, will my comments of fact despite being devastating critiques of the VA medical treatment of veterans make into the blog?

  16. Ronnie    

    The question remains: Can a VA doctor tell a veteran “this interview is over, get out.” Yes, three VA doctors are recorded as ordering a veteran out of the clinic without medical treatment and without refills for anti-psychotic medications. One of these medications was Paxil. Now, research the withdrawal symptoms of Paxil experienced by veterans in the present combat zones and the experiences of veterans who have returned home. Suicide is common among veterans while on Paxil and experiencing withdrawal symptoms of Paxil.

  17. Ronnie    

    I am researching VA sites. We veterans can agree that VA marketing staff posseses superior skills in marketing the VA agency public profile. On the other hand, we veterans, the majority of us, experience the practices of the VA agency in a totally different light. Any agency advertises a minority of success stories. Do the success stories represent the medical treatment that the majoirty of veterans receive? No. We veterans need to unite and organize an objective review of the actual practice of
    the medical treatment. An independent investigative body that includes 75% of veterans who are in the system.

  18. Ronnie    

    Drs. Monet and Harlow, psychologists, Sarasota Clinic, phoned me May 31, 2012, to discuss the fact that three (3) VA doctors at the Sarasota Clinic refused medical treatment to me and refused to refill active VA anti-psychotic prescriptions for me. Drs. Harlow and Monet promise a phone call to schedule an appointment. As of today, June 18, 2012, I have not received the promised telephone call. So, where is the “outstanding PTSD VA help.”

  19. Pedro Rodriguez    

    they keep on changing my meds every time i see my doctor is that a good thing for my emotion to be unbalance almost every month

  20. Richard Jablonski    

    There is NO mental health care at my CBOPC for 12 months now. I have PTSD and no healthcare without having to drive 120 miles to popular bluff. Like you even care just words as always from the VA

    1. Charles Kramer    

      Richard, even though you do not have mental health care there, if you were to contact the Main Hospital in your region, they could set-up tele-mental health where you see the provider on TV and they see you. I used it in CA and it is very effective. Do not put blame on VA until you have exhausted all possibilities.

    2. George    

      Where are you? Maybe I could help you find something. When did you ETS?

      A fellow vet.

  21. Michael Anthony    

    I take 9 pills a day because of P T S D

    1. Michael Mumford    

      Be glad you can take medication,you are fortunate.

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