Do You Have PTSD?
If you suffer from some of the problems listed here, you could be suffering
from PTSD and not even know it.
1. Desire to isolate.
2. Depression.
3. Self-medication (alcoholism, drug abuse).
4. Anger.
5. Irritability.
6. Difficulty concentrating.
7. Numbness.
8. Problems with authority, intimacy, and trust.
9. Hyper-vigilance.
10. Nightmares.
11. Flashbacks.
12. Ruminating about combat.
13. Avoidance of crowds, gatherings, and confined spaces.
14. Emotional distress upon exposure to situations that resemble the trauma.
15. Reenactment of the traumatic event.
Anger, irritability and rage • Feeling nervous • Depression • Difficulty trusting others • Feeling
guilt over acts committed or witnessed, the failure to prevent certain events, or merely having
survived while others did not • Hyper-alertness and startle reactions Feeling grief or sadness •
Having thoughts and memories that will not go away • Isolation and alienation from others • Loss
of interest in pleasurable activities • Low tolerance to stress • Problems with authority • Problems
feeling good about oneself Nightmares • Substance abuse • Trouble sleeping • Anxiety • Paranoia
There are many sites on the Internet that give great information and the VA is the place to go if
you do need help, they will help, all you need to do is ask.  A very good site that can help guide you through the things
you need to know to get help from the VA and how to apply for compensation from the VA.  Another good site that helps explain about PTSD in simple to
understand terms.  A good site explaining PTSD and what it was called
before and how it's evolved through the different wars.  And of course there is the VA, the site can be
intimidating because there is so much in so many places but it's the place to go if you need help.
Just a short note on my PTSD experience, PTSD is a strange bag of worms and as some have
said every person that went to Vietnam and spent any amount of time in the combat areas came
back one of three ways:

1. Dead
2. With some form of PTSD
3. Crazy

Age, health problems, social problems and just plain old bad days can subconsciously bring back
the fears, frustrations, guilt and bad recurring feeling we all had in varying degrees. We as
Marines were trained to do a job and we all did it well, the reality of war was something you could
only experience (nothing like the movies) and we never realized the future impact on our young
minds. Face it, you went as one person and came back another.  Each one of us coped or
handled the stress and situations differently. The mistakes we as Marines and the Marine Corps of
that time made was they had a male macho expectation of everyone (We were all John Wayne
Marines). SORRY we were kid’s and like all kids every one had different degrees of coping and
had different ways of adjusting, especially when coming back from Vietnam and trying to find a
sense of normality. And of course we had very little support from a public that was jaded by the
news media and the Marine Corps basically turned a blind eye to the fact we should be readjusted
to the civilized way of life again. Now after 40 years of suppression and avoidance it’s like trying to
teach an old dog new trick, and this old dog is definitely a slow learner (but I do like treats).
What is PTSD?
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.
Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTSD. These events can
Combat or military exposure
•        Child sexual or physical abuse
•        Terrorist attacks
•        Sexual or physical assault
•        Serious accidents, such as a car wreck.
•        Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake.
After the event, you may feel scared, confused, and angry. If these feelings don't go away or they
get worse, you may have PTSD. These symptoms may disrupt your life, making it hard to continue
with your daily activities.

I am an American Veteran. Who do I contact for help with PTSD?
You can contact your local VA Hospital or Veterans Center located in your telephone book, or call
the VA Health Benefits Service Center toll free at 1-877-222-VETS. In addition to its medical
centers, VA also has many CBOCs (Community Based Outpatient Clinics) around each state so
you can look for one in your community. You can also use any of the information on treatment for
the general public.

For online help, the VA also offers the MyHealtheVet and Seamless Transition websites. Please
also see Specialized PTSD Treatment Programs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
As an American Veteran, how do I file a claim for disability due to PTSD?
A formal request ("claim") must be filed by the veteran using forms provided by the VA's Veterans
Benefits Administration. After the forms are completely submitted, the veteran must complete
interviews concerning her or his "social history" (a review of family, work, and educational
experiences before, during, and after military service) and "psychiatric status" (a review of past
and current psychological symptoms, and of traumatic experiences during military service). The
forms and information about the application process can be obtained from Benefits Officers at any
VA Medical Center, Outpatient Clinic, or Regional Office.

The process of applying for a VA disability for PTSD can take several months, and can be both
complicated and quite stressful. The Veteran's Service Organizations (VSOs) provide "Service
Officers" at no cost to help veterans and family members pursue VA disability claims. Service
Officers are familiar with every step in the application and interview process, and can provide both
technical guidance and moral support. In addition, some Service Officers particularly specialize in
assisting veterans with PTSD disability claims.

Even if a veteran has not been a member of a specific Veterans Service Organization, the veteran
still can request the assistance of a Service Officer working for that organization. In order to get
representation by a qualified and helpful Service Officer, you can directly contact the local office of
any Veterans Service Organization -- or ask for recommendations from other veterans who have
applied for VA disability, or from a PTSD specialist at a VA PTSD clinic or a Vet Center.
HQ Company 4th Marine Regiment
3rd Marine Division
The VA (Veterans Administration) is the place you need to file a claim if you have any service connected disability. Don't sell
yourself short, if you served your country and especially in a time of war and in any way your life and heath is affected you
deserve the compensation they offer. At times it can be daunting and time consuming filing your claim but the benefits are
worth it. A Web Site I highly recommend is: