Five Tips to Understanding a Veteran With PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is an anxiety disorder most common among veterans who have experienced first-hand action during their military service.
While many people experience PTSD, an overwhelming number of veterans have PTSD from their time in the military. If you know a veteran with PTSD, you may find that engaging with them is more difficult than normal, and this is partly because of their anxiety disorder.

Let’s discuss a few tips that will help you understand a veteran with PTSD. 

1. They Startle Easy

A common problem faced by veterans with PTSD is that they startle easily because they are always on alert for the worst. Being alert all the time can be problematic for them because it induces anxiety if there are sudden changes in their environment.
Avoid startling them in any way because unexpected noise or visuals can lead to negative reactions from them. 

2. They Have Trouble Sleeping

Most veterans with PTSD have trouble sleeping, and if they do fall asleep, they have trouble staying asleep for a healthy night’s sleep. Moreover, they often experience nightmares that can abruptly wake them up and keep them from returning to bed.
These sleep issues lead to sleep deprivation that can harm their daily lives and further elevate their PTSD. 

3. They Are Irritable

Veterans with PTSD are often irritable because of the lack of sleep, constant alertness, and other issues they face because of their disorder. They often find concentrating on things difficult, which can further add to their frustrations and anxieties.
It is always best to be patient with them and not take their bad temper personally because it is a product of their PTSD. 

4. They Have Triggers

Veterans with PTSD feel like they are living through their traumatic events again. They can be triggered by sounds, smells, sights, and other stimuli that make them mentally relive their trauma. It is always best to identify these triggers and avoid them.
It helps to keep your eye out for triggers that cause them to experience flashbacks, negative thoughts of their trauma, or nightmares. 

5. They Are Detached

PTSD results in avoidance. This means that veterans with PTSD often avoid family members, friends, loved ones, activities, and places because they may remind them of their trauma. They go into a state of depression-like detachment and activities that would normally bring them joy become meaningless.
A consultation with a doctor or counselor is often the best option for them. 


The mentioned tips to understanding a veteran with PTSD will help you better interact with them and avoid triggering their trauma. Moreover ,these tips will help you avoid reacting negatively to their ill-tempered or erratic behavior.
Instead, you will be able to better identify their symptoms and support them by consulting a doctor or counselor if you see their symptoms becoming severe.