VA North Texas Health Care System
Recognize the Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Trauma comes in many forms and has many effects. One of the effects is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recognizing the signs of PTSD and getting help can be a lifesaver.
June is PTSD Awareness Month. VA is here to help. Learn the facts.
What is PTSD?
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a Veteran has had, or witnessed, an event where the threat of death or serious injury was possible. PTSD is characterized by three types of symptoms:
- Intrusive re-experiencing of the event
- Avoidance and numbing
A Veteran with PTSD may experience one or more of the following:
- Bad dreams and nightmares
- Difficulty interacting with family and friends
- Lack of interest in activities enjoyed in the past
- Overly aware of surroundings
- Easily startled by unexpected noises
- Difficulty concentrating
- Angry outbursts
Not all Veterans who experience trauma develop PTSD. For those that do, it does not mean they will have the disorder for the rest of their lives.
Early interventions have been proven to significantly reduce symptom burden.
How We Can Help
We use evidence-based techniques to treat Veterans with PTSD. Two of these are Cognitive Processing therapy and Prolonged Exposure therapy. Both therapies are structured, time-limited and proven to reduce PTSD symptoms significantly.
If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who may have PTSD, please contact us immediately. We are able to help. Veterans can be referred to mental health by their primary care provider or they can self-refer. We have mental health staff available 24/7. During normal business hours call 214-857-0853. After normal business hours, we have mental health staff available in the emergency room at Dallas VA Medical Center.
Help is also available by calling the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, press 1.