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ptsd myths

Delayed Treatment Could Make PTSD Symptoms Permanent

What is Delayed-Onset PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental condition that sometimes emerges in the aftermath of being faced with a life-threatening situation. This can happen in civilian life, like after a car accident or natural disaster, so it is no surprise that veterans returning from combat duty often develop PTSD after their exposure to explosions, terrorist attacks, and other life-threatening events. 

Although symptoms of PTSD often occur shortly after the traumatic event, sometimes they appear significantly later. Delayed-onset PTSD refers to this type of delayed response to traumatic stress.  

Not everyone who experiences or witnesses a traumatic event develops PTSD. Many people will have some difficulty adjusting or coping with traumatic stress, many also recover from those symptoms without anything more than time and some self-care. However, for a certain proportion of people, the flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts, and other symptoms do not dissipate on their own.

If these symptoms continue for months or years, professional evaluation and treatment may be warranted.

For some, however, symptoms of PTSD either don’t seem to be present (or don’t seem serious enough to cause concern) for a long while, perhaps even years. This could be delayed-onset PTSD. 

Importance of PTSD Treatment

Every veteran and their families should be aware of the common symptoms of PTSD.

Whether it’s you or a friend or family member, recognizing a potential problem is one step towards doing something about it. It’s easy to dismiss PTSD as a possibility when a number of years has passed since any traumatic event, but for delayed-onset PTSD, the PTSD may be triggered by some new stressor.

Here are a few common symptoms of PTSD in veterans:

• Intrusive memories of the event or reminders of the event
• Avoidance of anything that triggers memories of the event (can include avoidance of sleep to skip nightmares)
• Negative thoughts, hopelessness
• Feelings of detachment or emotional numbness
• Being hyper-vigilant (easily startled or frightened)
• Outbursts of anger or aggressive behavior 

Secondary symptoms can include substance use and abuse; sometimes these are ways of self-medicating, trying to make the symptoms subside or be less noticeable.

Only a doctor can diagnose PTSD, but when you or a loved one are showing possible symptoms, and especially when those symptoms are interfering with your interpersonal relationships and work, it’s time to find out more. There are a wide range of treatments in use for PTSD, including medication, psychological, and family therapy.  

Whether delayed-onset PTSD or earlier onset, reaching out for treatment is important.

The longer the delay getting treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, the more likely it is that the person will completely isolate himself from the persons around him.

Importance of Exploring VA Disability Claims

In addition to treatment, any veteran who suffers from PTSD, whether delayed-onset or otherwise, should explore their options for a VA disability claim, even if they have previously been denied. Disability payments can help mitigate the financial fallout from PTSD symptoms, especially when those have negatively affected your ability to continuously maintain full employment.

Veterans Law Group regularly represents veterans who have suffered from delayed-onset PTSD and is skilled at compiling the necessary records and evaluations to demonstrate the connection between service-connected injuries and resulting PTSD.

Contact VLG now for a free analysis of your delayed-onset PTSD claim.

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