About 60% of men and approximately 50% of women will experience trauma in their lives, according to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Not everyone who experiences a trauma suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but some do, and the numbers may be even higher for people who served in the military.
PTSD Among Veterans
According to the VA, the number of veterans suffering from PTSD differs by the conflict in which they served. For example, approximately:
- 11%-20% of veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom suffer from PTSD in any given year.
- 12% of Desert Storm (Gulf War) veterans suffer PTSD in any given year.
- 15% of Vietnam War veterans were diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the last study in the late 1980s. It is estimated that about 30% of Vietnam veterans have suffered PTSD at some point in their lifetime.
These numbers far exceed PTSD statistics for the general population. Approximately 7%-8% of people will suffer PTSD during their lifetime. Why PTSD develops for some people and not others is not always known.
What Is Known Is That PTSD Is NOT a Sign of Weakness
Instead, it is a real and serious medical condition that can be disabling. PTSD symptomsthat can interfere with one’s ability to work include:
- Intrusive memories that make it difficult to focus on the present.
- Avoidance of anything or anyone that could trigger a bad memory.
- Changes in moods or behaviors that are incompatible with work.
PTSD is a diagnosable condition; you deserve treatment and any veterans’ disability benefits to which you are legally entitled if you suffer from it.
If you are a veteran who suffers from PTSD related to your service in the military, it is important to find out if you may be eligible for veterans’ disability benefits. Start a live chat with us today to find out more about your rights and about how to protect your potential benefits.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.