Veterans & PTSD
Veterans of the US military are our front line. The protectors of freedom and democracy around the world, and a beacon of hope and patriotism at home. Yet our beloved veterans experience high rates of depression, divorce, suicide, homelessness, and addiction. Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population (1).
These are all symptoms of PTSD. It's time for a change. It's time for true healing for every United States Veteran.
How Common is PTSD in Veterans? (2)
When you are in the military, you may see combat. You may have been on missions that exposed you to horrible and life-threatening experiences. These types of events can lead to PTSD.
In Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF),11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have diagnosable PTSD in a given year.
Other factors in a combat situation can add more stress to an already stressful situation. This may contribute to PTSD and other mental health problems. These factors include what you do in the war, the politics around the war, where the war is fought, and the type of enemy you face.
Another cause of PTSD in the military can be military sexual trauma (MST). This is any sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurs while you are in the military. MST can happen to both men and women and can occur during peacetime, training, or war.
Among Veterans who use VA health care, about:
23 out of 100 women (or 23%) reported sexual assault when in the military.
55 out of 100 women (or 55%) and 38 out of 100 men (or 38%) have experienced sexual harassment when in the military.
There are many more male Veterans than there are female Veterans. So, even though military sexual trauma is more common in women Veterans, over half of all Veterans with military sexual trauma are men.
I Have PTSD, Is Healing Possible?
Yes. The body responds to traumatic overwhelm in a predictable way, and with care for body, mind and spirit there is a path to recovery. Our clinicians use body-focused interventions to help you learn how to feel safe and calm again. We use nature, hiking, climbing and backpacking to bring back a sense of accomplishment and wonder. We use psychedelic assisted psychotherapy to help the body process things that are too terrifying to face alone. Learn more about PTSD below, and find a therapist today.
U.S Department of Veteran Affairs (2018). VA National Suicide Data Report: 2015-2016.