Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that occurs in people who have lived through a traumatic event. These types of events can include a serious accident, natural disaster, or incident of violence such as physical assault and sexual abuse to name some examples. This document is a summary of available research on Veterans and PTSD. The sources used here are referenced at the end of the document.
According to the American Psychiatric Association and health professionals, the most common symptoms of PTSD can be summed up into four main categories:
While this condition can occur following a variety of traumatic events, combat experience is a strong predictor of a diagnosis of PTSD. We’re breaking down the numbers and rates of PTSD to provide a clearer picture for military veterans, their family members, and loved ones the secondary health conditions associated with it, and overall access to PTSD treatment.
There are many estimates out there as to how many veterans develop PTSD during their lifetimes. However, the major facts about the prevalence of PTSD can be summed up into a few statistics.
But it’s not just active combat that causes PTSD associated with military service. Instances of sexual assault are also a factor, particularly involving female veterans. Currently, women make up about 9.4% of the total veteran population, but this number is estimated to go up to 16% by 2040.
Among the nearly half a million veterans alive today, those aged 70-74 make up the largest portion. This group is followed closely by those aged 65-69 and 75-79 respectively. However, data shows that instances of PTSD may be higher among younger veterans .
We can also break down PTSD instances by specific wars.
PTSD presents a wide range of symptoms and may be associated with secondary health conditions. Below are statistics on these.
Former service members with PTSD can seek counseling for their condition – and the data shows that this counseling is effective.
Younger veterans may be more likely to seek PTSD help than older.
Last updated 6/2020.