June is National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month. It is intended to raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, reduce the stigma associated with PTSD, and help ensure that those suffering from the invisible wounds of war receive proper treatment.
According to Jason Cave, Director of the West Texas VA Health Care System, PTSD was something that had been experienced as far back as the American Civil War. During World War I and World War II people called it “Shell Shock”. Later, it would later evolve into being called “Combat Stress” or “Combat Fatigue” in the Korean War and Vietnam War.
Cave advised that approximately 10 to 15 percent of returning veterans suffer from PTSD. Many believe that it’s something they’ll have to struggle with for the rest of their life, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
“There are some amazing testimonials out there that the VA has put out there about people who struggled with it for decades and then found a treatment program that helped. Then they got over either the sleeplessness, the anxiety, the issues, getting through the nights, or feeling nervous or edgy in crowds and things like that. So, it’s come an awful long way," said Cave.
"There are so many different types of [PTSD]," he continued. "They’re really recognizing that it’s not a ‘Either you have it or you don’t’ [kind of thing]. There are so many different angles of it that can affect people."
Cave emphasized that the treatments are different than they used to be and success rates are better than they used to be. The important thing is to get connected with resources. For more information, call the VA at 432-263-7361.
To contact the Veterans Crisis Line, call 1-800-273-8255.