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Mental Health

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PTSD Awareness

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What Can I Do if I Think I Have PTSD?


Most people have some kind of stress reaction after a trauma. Having such a reaction has nothing to do with personal weakness. Stress reactions may last for several days or even a few weeks. For most people, if symptoms occur, they will slowly decrease over time. If the reactions don't go away over time or disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

If you think you have PTSD, it's important to get assessed by a professional. Only a trained provider can determine if you have PTSD. If you think you may have PTSD, talk to your doctor or a mental health provider. Treatment can help, and early treatment may help reduce long-term symptoms. Learn some tips on talking about your trauma: Trauma Symptom Checklist: Where to begin.

If you think you have PTSD:

  • Talk to your family doctor.
  • Talk to a mental health professional, such as a therapist.
  • Talk to a religious leader or chaplain.
  • Contact your local VA hospital or Vet Center.
  • Talk to a close friend or family member. He or she may be able to support you and find you help.

Get Screened for PTSD

A screen is a brief set of questions to tell you if it is likely you might have PTSD. If your screen comes out positive, it means you should be assessed by a professional. It does not automatically mean you have PTSD.

For more information on PTSD and effective treatments see www.ptsd.va.gov/public

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