Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition which may occur after someone experiences a traumatic event, such as combat, sexual or physical assault, or a natural or man-made disaster. It not only impacts the person who suffers from it, but those around them so it is important we educate all military members and family members about it. The Air Force's highest priority is taking care of our Airmen--they deserve to be in the best physical, psychological and emotional health to meet challenges at home station and when deployed. Currently there are 7,005 service members enrolled in AFW2, 2,891 of those diagnosed with PTSD.
A PTSD diagnosis is NOT the end of one's career. Leaders at every level should be engaged with their Airmen's care and recovery; ask questions, be involved. Remind them they are NOT alone, and they are NOT a failure because of this diagnosis. PTSD does not get better on its own, so encourage Airmen to seek help. PTSD is an invisible wound. It is hard to know what is going on inside when they "appear normal." PTSD treatment includes psychotherapy or “talk” therapy and medication.
Constant, uncontrollable and unwanted intrusive and disturbing thoughts
Recurring distressful memories, thoughts, dreams, or flashbacks
Avoidance behavior and changing habits to avoid reminders of the traumatic event
Negative thoughts or mood disconnecting themselves or other people
Hyper-arousal symptoms such as irritability, difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, reckless behavior, and anger outbursts
Approximately 7 to 8 percent of the U.S. population will have PTSD at some point
Women are 10 percent more likely to suffer PTSD because they are more likely to experience sexual assault or child sexual abuse
During any given year, 8 million people have PTSD in the U.S.
Researchers developed very effective treatments leading to symptom reduction and even loss of PTSD diagnosis
Early intervention is more likely to lead to positive outcomes
If you have an Airman who needs assistance, their primary care physician, the Behavioral Health Optimization Program (BHOP), Family Advocacy Program, and chaplains are good places to start them on their recovery path
PTSD Awareness Month 2017
National Center for PTSD (VA)
Defense Centers of Excellence: About PTSD
Coping with Traumatic Stress Reactions
Air Force Medical Service: PTSD
PTSD Treatment Decision Aid: The Choice is Yours
Anyone can refer an Airman into the AFW2 program; download the worksheet by clicking the button below and submit the finalized form via email.