While the horrors of war and combat are frequently written about, few civilians can truly understand how events participated in and witnessed during war can adversely impact one’s life. Active military service members and veterans frequently suffer physically and mentally as a direct result of combat.
Imagine living in a constant state of fear and uncertainty for months or years at a time. Never feeling safe or secure, never knowing if or when an attack or explosion may occur and never knowing who may be injured or killed next. Combat situations experienced in Iraq, Afghanistan and other recent wars have resulted in a growing percentage of military service members and veterans developing a condition known as post traumatic stress disorder.
Individuals diagnosed with PTSD are essentially trapped in a constant state of fear. The condition is triggered by witnessing or experiencing a stressful and traumatic event. Individuals suffering from PTSD often experience a variety of disruptive symptoms including flash-backs and nightmares related to the situation. Additionally, those with PTSD frequently feel guilty, anxious and depressed and some experience intense rage or apathy. Symptoms of PTSD are often exacerbated by sleep disturbances and an aversion to getting help.
Thankfully, due to increased knowledge about and acceptance of PTSD, today U.S. service members and veterans are more likely to seek help and treatment. Military members and veterans diagnosed with the condition may qualify to receive treatment as well as disability benefits.
Veterans and active service members, who have initially been denied disability benefits, may choose to seek the assistance of a legal professional. An attorney who handles disability claim matters can aid in ensuring an individual’s application provides a comprehensive history of their condition as well as convincing details related to their need for benefits.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health, “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” 2014