What is PTSD?

The VA defines Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (no longer available online) as “an anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you.”

Statistics for PTSD and post-combat depression among veterans are not as firm as those for TBI because PTSD often has no immediate and visible symptoms and not all veterans with PTSD will seek help. Many soldiers experience varying degrees of trauma, but most of them will not develop long-term PTSD. Estimates for PTSD (and depression) among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to around 20 percent. VA data show that from 2002 to 2009, of the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan eligible for VA care who came in for VA services, 48 percent (no longer available online) were diagnosed with a mental health problem.

For more information on PTSD, see the VA’s National Center for PTSD web site.

Back to: Winter 2012 Issue