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What is PTSD?

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | PTSD Benefits

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition described by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as “a trauma- and stressor-related disorder.” 

The DSM-5 states:

[t]he essential feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to one or more traumatic events. . . . The clinical presentation of PTSD varies. In some individuals, fear-based re-experiencing, emotional and behavioral symptoms may predominate. In others, anhedonic or dysphoric mood states and negative cognitions may be most distressing. In some other individuals, arousal and reactive-externalizing symptoms are prominent, while in others, dissociative symptoms predominate. Finally, some individuals exhibit combinations of these symptom patterns.

PTSD Diagnosis

To receive VA benefits for PTSD, a veteran must have a current diagnosis from an expert who is competent to diagnose PTSD. The diagnosis must conform to the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV (for cases “certified” to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals or appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeal for Veterans Claims prior to August 4, 2014) or DSM-5 (for all other cases).

In addition, there must be credible supporting evidence that a traumatic event occurred during the veteran’s active military service. Without a qualifying stressor event, an expert will be unable to render a diagnosis of PTSD. You can read more about proving your PTSD stressor here

How to Recognize Symptoms of PTSD 

Most people experience some level of post-traumatic stress after a distressing or traumatic event, however, not everyone’s symptoms persist. PTSD occurs when the post-traumatic stress continues long after the stressful event. Symptoms can begin with the veteran feeling numb after the event, but that doesn’t always happen. Then, a veteran will normally experience some or all of the following symptoms:

This is not an exclusive list of all symptoms of PTSD and different people experience different symptoms. 

Veterans Disability Lawyer Helping Veterans

After Service LLC is here to help if you are having difficulty getting your veterans’ benefits approved by the VA. Call us today at (844) 838-7529 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.


What Happens if the VA Turns Down My PTSD Claim?

You can hire a veterans disability lawyer and file an appeal.

What Benefits Can I Get?

If you are diagnosed with PTSD, VA can assign a rating of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%, dependent on how much occupational and social impairment is caused by your symptoms.