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Is PTSD something only soldiers get?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Social Security Disability (SSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that sometimes develops after someone has been exposed to a very traumatic event. 

While it was first identified in military veterans and is still commonly associated with military combat, PTSD can affect anyone who has undergone a traumatic experience – no matter what their age, gender or background.

What is PTSD?

PTSD has a range of symptoms that can significantly impair someone’s ability to function in their daily life. While everyone’s a little bit different, PTSD manifests in:

  • Intrusive memories: These may be vivid, hallucination-like “flashbacks” of the trauma or simply recurrent, distressing memories of the event or events
  • Avoidance: People with PTSD may – out of necessity – avoid anything that reminds them of their trauma, including people, places and certain activities
  • Hypervigilance: It’s not uncommon for people suffering from PTSD to always be “on,” scanning their surroundings for threats they once experienced
  • Difficulty concentrating: The inability to filter out their thoughts and their surroundings very well can make it hard for people with PTSD to concentrate
  • Mood disorders: PTSD is also associated with negative beliefs and expectations, loss of interest in cherished hobbies and feelings of detachment from loved ones

Exposure to combat situations, witnessing violence or experiencing life-threatening situations during military service can certainly lead to PTSD in veterans. However, PTSD is also common among those who survive natural disasters, like earthquakes and hurricanes – and the victims of physical or sexual assaults. It can even be caused by car accidents, medical trauma and childhood abuse or neglect.

If you suffer from PTSD that has become disabling, you may be entitled to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Learning more about what is available may help.