Soldier with PTSD coming home to his family after being away in the war.

The Transition Is Often The Catalyst

Although some combat Soldiers begin struggling with PTSD during active duty, the US Department of Veterans Affairs states 78% of PTSD sufferers begin soon after returning home. 

Hear what Veterans have to say about the difficulties in transitioning from military life to civilian life.

The History of PTSD

Call it Soldier's Heart, Shell Shock, Battle Fatigue, Combat Exhaustion, Traumatic Neurosis, Gross Stress Disorder, Post Vietnam Syndrome, or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Throughout time, it's been named many different things, but it's primarily the same condition that has affected so many combat Soldiers. Although research and social efforts gave way to further understanding and the official description of PTSD in 1980, first mentions go back as far as 5th century Ancient Greece. Even Shakespeare alluded to it in various plays, including "Romeo and Juliet."

History of PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD

No matter the exact root cause(s) of a Soldier's PTSD, or when exactly it starts, they will experience a myriad of symptoms. Some symptoms may feel like mere annoyances in the beginning. Over time and without intervention, these symptoms can be completely debilitating and even lead to suicide. Without help, helplessness begets hopelessness. Unfortunately, Soldiers must endure these symptoms for at least a month before a diagnosis can be made, and not every patient with PTSD will experience all the symptoms. Symptoms may not surface immediately after a traumatic event, but rather may develop months or even years after the initial trauma. In no particular order, the most common symptoms include:

:

  • Involuntary and recurrent memories
  • Traumatic nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Intense or prolonged distress after exposure to reminders or triggers
  • Avoiding trauma-related thoughts, feelings, people, places, conversations, activities, objections and situations
  • Can't recall key features of event
  • Negative beliefs about self or world
  • Distorted blame
  • Persistent feelings of fear, anger, horror, guilt or shame
  • Diminished interest in activities
  • Feeling alienated
  • Inability to feel positive emotions
  • Irritable or aggressive
  • Self-destructive
  • Hypervigiliance
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much

A Common Belief

Many people share in the belief that if more time was spent in training Soldiers how to transition back into civilian life, there would be a significant decrease in PTSD. Depending on the branch of service, anywhere from 7-12 weeks are spent turning a civilian into a Soldier, but little to no time is spent in helping that Soldier turn back into a civilian. After the horrors these men and women witnessed, how can they be expected to just flip off the switch and return to a pre-military way of thinking overnight?

Read the official guide sent from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to Soldiers 

who are just coming home from a war-time deployment.

Official PTSD Guide (pdf)

Download

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Your donation will help us establish Sycamore Sunrise Ranch on this majestic property in Virginia. A place for Soldiers and their families to fight PTSD together. 

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