Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common diagnosis for military veterans, especially for those who see battle or engage in strenuous missions. The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs notes that this mental illness occurs when the memories or trauma from an event during service do not pass, even months or years later, which can have a detrimental effect on those who experience it.
Veterans seeking Social Security Benefits may want to understand how this issue might affect their daily lives and whether the symptoms they experience qualify them to receive such compensation.
How does PTSD differ from anxiety?
Anxiety is a common problem among veterans, but it differs from PTSD in several ways. PTSD is often the result of a specific event, such as if a combat veteran received a serious injury during battle. His or her stress symptoms may become triggered by a sound, smell or action that causes the traumatic memories to resurface. Generalized anxiety disorder typically does not present itself this way and may branch from other undiagnosed mental illnesses, such as depression.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
Once those who experience PTSD encounter a trigger, they may experience several different symptoms. These can vary widely, such as:
- Sudden emotional outbursts
- Shaking and sweating
- Elevated breathing or hyperventilating
Veterans with undiagnosed PTSD may not know how to recognize their triggers, which may increase the intensity of the symptoms they experience.
Veterans seeking Social Security Benefits must meet a few criteria, such as having undergone trauma during service time. Physical, mental and emotional injuries may all qualify them for benefits, but since each case is different, any application is subject to individual review by the Social Security Administration.