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Understanding How PTSD Affects Veterans


Perhaps you have always heard people talk about PTSD and wonder what it stands for. Well, it’s the abbreviation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s possible you are one of those who doubt the existence of such ailment. It may, therefore, interest you to know that this ailment is as old as man himself.

Or maybe you know what PTSD stands for but do not understand its meaning and you wish you knew. In that case, you are reading the right piece. Without much ado, let’s get acquainted with the term “PTSD,” Shall we?


In simple terms, PTSD can be described as the enduring mental or physical conditions a person experiences aftermath of a traumatizing ordeal or event he or she was exposed to. Some of the traumatic events a PTSD patient may have been exposed to includes rape, war, accidents, natural disasters, etc.


Is the ailment peculiar or common with a certain age range of people?

The answer is an affirmative no. Anyone, whether young or old that has been exposed to a traumatic event is liable to suffer or experience PTSD. It can as a matter of fact physically alter the brain of a victim below 20 years, permanently. Granted that the ailment is not peculiar to a certain age range of people, it is however frequently found or noticed in veterans, e.g., military veterans. It is, for this reason, the focus of this piece shall be on, how PTSD affects veterans.

There are various ways PTSD can affect veterans ranging from physical to psychological. Here are five different ways PTSD affects veterans.

1. Addiction

This is one common effect of PTSD. A person suffering from PTSD, experiences various forms of ailments such as severe psychological stress, lack of interest in social activities, etc. Consequently, resorting to the use of sedatives and taking of alcohol appears to be the best solution to such persons in a bid to suppress the enduring effects of the ailment. This ultimately gives birth to the dreaded effect of “Addiction.”

2. Social Withdrawal

Do you find yourself as a veteran or a loved one who is, being reluctant about engaging in social activities? Or maybe keeping to yourself more often than usual? These are all symptoms of lack of interest in social activities otherwise known as social withdrawal or isolation.

Studies have shown that military veterans have a tough time re-acclimatizing to the regular life style of civilians having been to and successfully returned from war. This is simply because they don’t feel safe or feel no other person than a veteran like themselves can comprehend the ordeal they’ve been through. As a result, social withdrawal or isolation becomes an unavoidable effect such veterans experience. So if you find yourself having difficulty sharing with others, an ordeal or an experience you went through. Best guess is, you could be suffering from the effect of PTSD known as Social withdrawal.

3. Less Interest In Sexual Activity

Are you aware that PTSD can cause a victim to have reduced interest or less desire for sex? And that includes a love partner that such a person once found irresistible and had previously shared mind blowing intimate moments with. Yes, PTSD can cause that to happen, and that it’s on the list.

4. Inability To Sleep


This is an effect, or a condition medically referred to as Insomnia. Victims of PTSD, who suffer this effect, find sleep time hard to come by. Also, they experience difficulty staying asleep for as long as they would have wanted in the event they manage to fall asleep due to disturbing nightmares or waking up startled from a bad dream.

5. Re-Experiencing

There are instances when a person living with PTSD do manage to talk about his or her traumatizing experience, and begins to have the feeling reliving the ordeal. Such feeling is the effect of PTSD. This happens because as they talk about the event, their mind is flooded with memories of the trauma they went through. At that point, it is as though they are experiencing the whole ordeal all over again. Distinguishing between the flashback of the experience and the actual ordeal becomes a task seemingly too mountainous for their bodies to accomplish.

The re-experiencing effects of PTSD other than in the form of memory flashbacks, can also come in the form of nightmares or interfering memories. Needless to say therefore that, the psychological state of people living with PTSD is severely affected by this “re-experiencing” effect.

I believe this piece has adequately enlightened you about PTSD? If you know, you’re a Veteran, and you’re experiencing any of the listed ordeals, please do well to contact a therapist. You can visit our PTSD counseling page or call 919-647-4600 for more information.

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