New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Veterans, like other people, respond to traumatic events in a number of ways. They may feel concern, anger, fear, or helplessness. These are all typical responses to a violent, malicious, or traumatic event. However, research shows that people who have been through trauma, loss, or hardship in the past may be even more likely than others to be affected by new, potentially traumatic events.

Traumatic events can cause a range of reactions. In response to new traumatic events, Veterans may:

  • have general distress or see an increase in his or her PTSD symptoms
  • become quick to anger, sleep poorly, or drink more heavily
  • try to avoid all reminders or media about the incident, or shy away from social situations

Recent traumatic events may also trigger old memories among Veterans. When facing a new traumatic event some Veterans expect and/or prepare for the worst based on their past experiences. For example, Veterans may:

  • become overly protective, vigilant, and guarded
  • become preoccupied by danger
  • feel a need to avoid being shocked by, or unprepared for, what may happen in the future

Some symptoms can include:

  • military and homecoming memories
  • depressed mood
  • general distress
  • use and abuse of alcohol or other substances

Additional Information

Crisis Helpline: To learn about healthcare and treatment options, please for Contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Crisis Line: 1.800.273.8255, press 1

For more information, visit their website at:

Additional Assistance:

If you would like to learn more about the benefits and services you may be eligible for as a Veteran, servicemember, or as a family member of a Veteran or servicemember, please call the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs Help Line at 1.888.838.7697 (VETSNYS), where you may also schedule an appointment with one of our Veterans Benefits Advisors.

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