Just the Facts: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


War veterans have always suffered from PTSD, even before it officially existed. U.S. soldiers have been suffering from PTSD since the civil war. The first military hospital for the insane was established in 1863. Then, the most common diagnosis was “nostalgia.”

In WWI and WWII, it was most often considered “shell shock.”

In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added an official classification for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Despite military efforts to curb PTSD, it remains a problem.

It affects 11-percent to 20-percent of U.S. service members who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Every day in the United States, about 22 veterans kill themselves. In 2012, the suicide rate among U.S. veterans increased 15-percent, setting a record.

Reporting PTSD in the U.S. comes with problems.

Only about half of those soldiers who return with PTSD report it.

Many fear it will harm their careers.

Many soldiers don’t want to report it because of the stigma attached. There has been a push in recent years to change the name to Post-traumatic Stress Injury, but, for now, it remains PTSD.


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