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Department of Veterans Services


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Symptoms

Vet Centers

VA Medical Center Programs

National PTSD Center

How do I get Help or More Information?

 

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is an anxiety disorder resulting from a psychologically stressful event beyond the scope of "normal" human experience. The trauma may be experienced alone (rape or assault) or in the company of groups of people (military combat). 

    Stressors producing PTSD include:

  • Natural Disasters (floods, earthquakes)
  • Accidental man-made disasters (car accidents, airplane crashes, large fires) 
  • Deliberate man-made disasters (bombing, torture, death camps). 

Symptoms include:

  • Recurrent thoughts of a traumatic event
  • Reduced involvement in work or outside interests
  • Hyperalertness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

This disorder is more severe and longer lasting when the stress is of human design.  According to statistics,  prior to March 1998, 101,978 veterans were receiving compensation for PTSD.

Vet Centers

Vet Centers are nationwide systems of community-based counseling centers that  provide counseling for psychological war trauma.  The centers are staffed by interdisciplinary teams including psychologists, social workers, nurses, and paraprofessionals.

Services are designed to assist combat-affected and other veterans attain a well-adjusted post-war work and family life. 

  • Readjustment counseling features a non-medical setting, a mix of social services, and community outreach activities.
  • Psychological counseling for war-related experiences, and family counseling. 

Current law extends eligibility for the program to any veteran who has served in the military in combat operations during any period of armed hostility.  But, initially the Vet Centers were designed and implemented by the Veterans Administration  in 1979 for Vietnam veterans.  

The Veteran Administration currently operates 206 Vet Centers in the 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia and Guam. 

 

VA Medical Center Programs

While PTSD treatment is available through all of VA's 171 medical centers, a VA network of 124 facilities offers specialized inpatient and outpatient treatment.  

  • PTSD clinical teams provide outpatient treatment and  work closely with other VA treatment programs, including Vet Centers, to coordinate services and provide information on PTSD throughout the medical center and the community. 

  • VA operates  
          83 PTSD clinical teams
          22 Specialized inpatient units around the country
          13 Brief-treatment units
          11
    Residential rehabilitation programs
            4 PTSD Day hospitals

       There are also Programs For Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  

  • Outpatient Women's  Stress Disorder
  • Treatment Teams
  • Eight outpatient-based PTSD Teams Substance Use Disorder demonstration projects.
  • A special focus in the program expansions has included underserved and minority populations, such as African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans. 
  • A specialized PTSD inpatient treatment unit serves women veterans at the Palo Alto, Calif., VA Medical Center's Menlo Park Division.

  

National PTSD Center

In 1989, VA established the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder -- a center for clinical research, training, and information on PTSD. The center initially consisted of five divisions with distinct, but complementary responsibilities: Behavioral Science, Clinical Neurosciences, Education, Evaluation, and Executive and Resource Center Divisions. Growing recognition of the dimensions of PTSD has brought new programs, such as the Women's Health Sciences Division, located at the Boston VA Medical Center, and the Pacific Islands Division in Honolulu. Among its many programs, the Center maintains a web site (www.dartmouth.edu/dms/ptsd) with information about PTSD and a bibliographic database of more than 13,000 articles.


  How do I get Help or More Information?

One of our Veterans Service Representatives is available to discuss PTSD claims or any veterans' related issue with you. 

Contact:

Jeanne Thick, Director
Department of Veteran Services
1101 Beach St.
Flint, MI  48502
(810) 257-3068

Hours:  Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am - 11:45 am
 and 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

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