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ABOUT PTSD
Information, Facts & Videos

People can experience an emotional or mental health crisis due to a wide range of situations. For some, it might be the end of a personal relationship. For others, it might be the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service.

When emotional issues reach a crisis point, Veterans and their loved ones should contact the Veterans Crisis Line. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1   Chat online   Text 838255

Many Veterans may not show any signs of intent to harm themselves before doing so, but some actions can be a sign that a person needs help. Veterans in crisis may show behaviors that indicate a risk of self-harm.

The following can all be warning signs:

  • Appearing sad or depressed most of the time

  • Hopelessness; feeling like there’s no way out

  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings

  • Feeling as if there is no reason to live

  • Feeling excessive guilt, shame, or sense of failure

  • Rage or anger

  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking

  • Losing interest in hobbies, work, or school

  • Increasing alcohol or drug misuse

  • Neglecting personal welfare; a deteriorating physical appearance

  • Withdrawing from family and friends

  • Showing violent behavior, like punching a hole in the wall or getting into fights

  • Giving away prized possessions

  • Getting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, or writing a will

The following signs require immediate attention:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself

  • Looking for ways to kill yourself

  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide

  • Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

Crisis, stress, depression, and other issues affect people in different ways. If you feel like you might be heading toward a crisis, treatment can help. Take a confidential, anonymous risk assessment to see how you might benefit from VA or community-based services.

Take the quiz

An NBC News Clip on PTSD

Former Democratic rising star and Afghanistan War veteran speaks out for first time about PTSD treatment

"After 11 years of trying to outrun depression and PTSD symptoms, I have finally concluded that it's faster than me. That I have to stop running, turn around, and confront it," Jason Kander said.

blob:https://www.nbcnews.com/f60ca1ca-4057-4c3b-bea2-9097ad53fac1
A soldier with PTSD fell into a hole and couldn’t get out.

  • When a SNCO walked by the Soldier called out for help, but the SNCO yelled back, "Suck it up son, dig deep and drive on," then threw him a shovel. The Soldier did as he was told and dug that hole deeper.

  • A Senior Officer went by and the Soldier called out for help again. The Officer told him "use the tools your SNCO has given you", then threw him a bucket. The Soldier used the tools and he dug the hole deeper still and filled the bucket.

  • A psychiatrist walked by. The Soldier called, “Help! I can’t get out!” so the psychiatrist gave him some drugs and said, "Take this. It will relieve the pain and you will forget about the hole.” The Soldier said "thanks" and followed his advice, but when the pills ran out he was still in the hole.

  • A well-known psychologist rode by and heard the Soldiers cries for help. He stopped and asked, “How did you get there? Were you born there? Did your parents put you there? Tell me about yourself, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness.” So the Soldier talked with him for an hour, then the psychologist had to leave, but he said he’d be back next week. The Soldier thanked him, but he was still in the hole.

  • Another Soldier , just like him, happened to be passing by. The Soldier with PTSD cried out, “Hey, help me. I’m stuck in this hole!” and right away the other Soldier jumped down in there with him. The Soldier with PTSD started to panic and said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck down here!” But the other Soldier just smiled and replied, “It’s okay, calm down, brother. I’ve been here before..... I know how to get out.”

No matter what you're going through, you are never alone. But don't be too proud to SHOUT OUT!, 'HELP I'm stuck in this Hole' We all get stuck in a hole from time to time but all it takes is to ask your mates for help and we will be there even if we have to jump in that hole with you.

A Veteran Copes with PTSD: Brandon's Story