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Does PTSD affect only those in the Military?

The risk of trauma has been with us since the beginning of time. However, it was not until the 1980’s that the American Psychiatric Association recognized PTSD as a mental disorder. The key to this condition is trauma, or suffering a traumatic event. The reason PTSD is most typically associated with Veterans is because when you are in the military you see combat. During combat our veterans may be exposed to horrible and life-threatening experiences can cause symptoms of PTSD.

Not everyone who is exposed to a traumatic event will suffer from the disorder. There are several factors that may predispose you to PTSD.  You may be more likely than others to experience the disorder after a traumatic event if you have another mental health problem; if you were abused as a child; if you drink excessively, or if you are a female. These are only a few factors that may predispose you to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms of PTSD may cause significant barriers to social or work situations. There are four groups of symptoms for PTSD. The first group is intrusive memories. These symptoms may include recurrent memories of the traumatic event, nightmares, or flashbacks. The second group of symptoms includes avoidance, characterized by avoiding thinking about the traumatic event or even avoiding certain places that remind you of the traumatic event. The third group is negative thinking. These symptoms include negative feelings about yourself, lack of interest, social withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness. The fourth group revolves around changes in emotional reactions. These symptoms include irritability, anger, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, vigilance, or being easily startled. Your symptoms of PTSD may intensify over time.

If you suffer from PTSD, and the condition is interfering with your ability to maintain employment, you should seek help from a mental health provider. After treating with your doctor, if your conditions are not improving, ask your doctor what their thoughts are on your applying for disability benefits. If your condition is so severe that you are unable to maintain employment for a 12-month time frame then you should seriously consider applying for disability benefits, especially if your doctor is recommending you be out of work for 12 months.

If you are thinking about applying for disability benefits please call me at (561) 623-3681. At the LaBovick Law Group, we provide a free initial consultation. Meaning, we will talk with you about your situation and explain whether you meet the requirements of the program. Let me handle the stress of your disability application while you focus on treating your symptoms of PTSD.

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