There are a lot of misconceptions about post-traumatic stress (PTS). This invisible wound can often be accompanied by confusion and misunderstanding. Amidst all of the uncertainty and myths of PTS, there are some facts that can serve as a good place to start understanding this condition, and how common it actually is.
8 million people
It’s estimated that around 8% of the population will develop some form of PTS in their lifetime. Using that statistic, that means that around 8 million people are living with PTS in the United States at any given time. That makes it seem like something we should be talking about more, doesn’t it?
11-20% of service members
Out of 100 veterans who served in either of the current military conflicts, 11-20 are experiencing PTS in a given year.
Gulf War & Vietnam Veterans
Though PTS wasn’t as developed and understood then as it is now, we are still able to estimate it’s heavy impact on these veterans. According to statistics, 12% of Gulf War and 15% of Vietnam veterans experience PTS in a given year. For Vietnam veterans, it’s estimated that 30% have experienced or will experience PTS at some point in their lifetime.
Gender plays a role.
Women are more likely to experience PTS than men are. While it’s estimated that 10% of women will experience PTS at some point in their lifetime, that number is only 4% for men.
PTS doesn’t show up immediately.
Unlike physical injuries, PTS is something of a sleeping giant. It can be awoken at any point in time. Though they can appear within 3 months of experiencing a traumatic event, they may not appear for years, seemingly out of nowhere.
Not totally invisible.
Though PTS is one of the invisible wounds of war, the effects can be very visible. Physical symptoms of PTS can include uncontrollable shaking, chills, and heart palpitations.
Invisible Wounds travel together.
PTS occurs commonly with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It’s estimated that 1 out of 3 veterans who sustain a TBI also meets the criteria for PTS.
For over a decade the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has been working to treat the effects of the invisible wounds of war including PTS and TBI. After completing the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, our mission shifted to focus on building satellite Intrepid Spirit Centers to expand the care provided at NICoE. Each Intrepid Spirit Center is specially equipped to treat PTS and the other invisible wounds of war. So far, 8 Intrepid Spirit Centers are complete and operational. Please consider helping to support IFHF’s mission with a donation.
Posted on May 31 2021 in Blog