I'm continually amazed at the bravery, discipline, and selfless service exhibited by our Men & Women in uniform! Our military service members volunteered to serve. They protect our freedoms 24-hours a day. Some of what they personally experience remains a mystery to the general public. The growth of social media and the constant influx of news media provide a glimpse of awareness as to what's happening on the battlefield. But there's another war waging out there - the battlefield of the mind. Placing yourself in harm's way comes with a price for some - the emotional hurdles and the battle to overcome the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, "Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others' lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening."

I heard a rather intense debate recently concerning what the correct name for this condition should be. Some prefer to use the term Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). After hearing this, my choice during conversations became: Use PTS and let the other person correct me if they prefer PTSD. This helped move the conversation along in order to learn more about this and what help is available. What is the definition of PTSD or PTS?

The VA listed 4 common symptoms of PTSD:

  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms).
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event.
  3. Feeling numb.
  4. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal).

As a Military Spouse, you may recognize some or all of these conditions and symptoms. Just know that there's lots of help out there.

As with any helpful resource, you owe it to yourself and the person affected by PTS to find the right resource for you. Seek help from qualified medical professionals. Ask these medical professionals tough questions. Ask a trusted Friend or Family Member. Whether you get help from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the military hospital, or organizations and medical professional outside the military, find the best fit for you.

Please post any other helpful PTS resources you have. Let's help our Troops overcome these emotional hurdles caused by PTS.

The following is a list of some of available resources for PTS/PTSD:

Department of Veterans Affairs

Mobile App: PTSD Coach

Happy New Year - a movie by K. Lorrel Manning about the story of "Sgt. Cole Lewis" who, mentally and physically scarred by his time served in Iraq and Afghanistan, finds humanity, compassion and friendship in a group of similarly injured veterans in the psychiatric ward at a remote Veterans Hospital.

VA Facilities Locator

National Institute of Mental Health

Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Iraq Combat Mental Health Study

Ilona Meagher - a PTSD Blogger and Writer

PTSD Survivors of America

Coming Home Project

Military with PTSD

Veteran's PTSD Project