What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger. -www.nimh.gov


"Leaving the battlefield: Soldier shares story of PTSD" a true story.

My name is Huerta. I am an American Soldier and I have PTSD. I refused to admit it to myself even when the Army doctors told me I had it in 2004. I refused to talk to anyone about it even when Army health professionals told me I needed to in 2005. I was afraid how Army leadership would react if I had that on my record. I was a Soldier, I was tough, I just needed to rub the patch and drive on. And drive on I did until one day in September 2010, five years after I last left the battlefield. I don't know what the trigger was. Maybe it was the young Soldier, a mother of two who was just redeployed, who I watched cut down after she hanged herself weeks after returning from battle earlier. Maybe it was the faces of the children I see on all the doors I knocked on to tell them their father or mother was not coming home. Maybe it was because it was the same time of year when my uniform was covered with the blood and brains of a 6-year-old Iraqi child who was caught in an IED during Ramadan.

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  • You can help

    It’s common for people with PTSD to withdraw from friends and family. While it’s important to respect your loved one’s boundaries, your comfort and support can help the person with PTSD overcome feelings of helplessness, grief, and despair. In fact, trauma experts believe that face-to-face support from others is the most important factor in PTSD recovery.

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  • Statistics

    Stop the stigma- Talk openly about mental health. Mental illness touches so many lives and yet it's STILL a giant secret. Educate yourself and others about mental health.Correct and inform people respectfully when they are perpetrating stereotypes and misconceptions. Speak up and educate them. Show empathy and compassion for those living with a mental health condition. When you love and respect everyone, you have a desire to learn more about who they are and what their life is like. Stop the criminalization of those who live with mental illness. Professionals and families together need to talk to neighborhood groups, law enforcement, hospitals and legal experts to share experiences and knowledge on interacting with mentally ill.

    • Statistic 1

      Based on the U.S. population, about 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.

    • Statistic 2

      Based on the U.S. population, about 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.

    • Statistic 3

      Based on the U.S. population, about 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%).

    • Statistic 4

      Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.

    • Statistic 5

      Gulf War (Desert Storm): About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.

    • Statistic 6

      About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS). It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.

    • Statistic 7

      Somewhat higher rates of this disorder have been found to occur in African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans compared to Caucasians in the United States.

    Mental illnesses


    • anxiety


    • Bipolar disorder


    • Depression


    • Eating disorder


    • Obsessive compulsive disorder


    • post traumatic stress disorder


    • Schizophrenia