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PTSD

Experiencing a traumatic event, whether on or off the battlefield, can sometimes lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is often associated with combat, but it can also be the result of traumatic incidents like mass shootings, car accidents, sexual assaults or natural disasters.

Though everyone experiences PTSD differently, common symptoms can include trouble sleeping, flashbacks and irritability. Treatment is available, and a health care provider can help you manage your symptoms. Getting help will keep you mission ready, set you up for career success and ensure you are there for those who need you most. Use the following resource to learn more about PTSD and related concerns.

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Security Clearances and Psychological Health Care

Reaching out for care for your psychological health is an important, positive step in your military career. When seeking a role that requires a national security clearance, you will be instructed to fill out the Standard Form 86 (SF86), “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.” [PDF 7.6MB] The federal government uses information from this form to conduct background checks and evaluate individuals who are:

Coping with Mass Shootings

It is important to remember that in any city or town, mass shootings are rare, even if they are highly visible occurrences that receive national attention.Most people will never experience one directly. However, when they do happen they are shocking and can be difficult to cope with. This is because they feel random and happen in places you consider safe like schools, offices, malls, movie theaters, restaurants—even military installations.

Discussing your Psychological Health with a Provider

Making a plan to talk with a health care provider about your psychological health concerns is an important step toward improving your overall health. If you have been through trauma or other challenges, it may be hard to talk about your experiences. A health care provider can help you understand your feelings and maintain your mental fitness. This article offers useful tips to help you choose a provider, prepare for your first appointment and make the most of your visit.

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Dispelling Myths About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


You may have traumatic experiences during your military career. These can happen on deployment, in training or even at home. When warriors experience trauma, on or off the battlefield, they often have periods of anger, trouble sleeping, nightmares, intrusive memories, sadness and more. If these concerns continue for more than one month, they may be signs of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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How to Access Benefits for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

If you go through a traumatic event, you are likely to recover. In some cases you may experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Treatment can help you cope with and overcome your symptoms.

If, however, you are disabled by PTSD because of your service, you are eligible for disability benefits. On top of the care you get through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you can get financial compensation for your PTSD. This can offset financial strain and help you focus on overcoming your symptoms.

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Strategies for Coping with Flashbacks

Flashbacks happen when you feel like you are reliving a traumatic experience or memory. They can occur day or night, and can occur recently or even years after the event. You may remember the entire event or only details such as sounds and smells. Flashbacks can occur in veterans who have experienced a traumatic event. While not always, flashbacks are often a symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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