Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) refers to a serious mental health condition that activates in the aftermath of a traumatic event or experience, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. While every case of PTSD has a unique origin, the veteran community suffers frequent struggles with PTSD, according to Pharmacy and Therapeutics. While researchers have not found a cure for PTSD, several treatment options remain available for those suffering from this disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder can have a dramatic effect on victims as well as their loved ones.
If a caregiver has a veteran suffering from PTSD under their care, they must follow through with treatment and remain vigilant to ensure the veteran’s safety. If you or your loved one suffers from PTSD, learn more about this condition so that you can recognize and manage the many ways it affects your life.
Causes of PTSD
The specific cause of post-traumatic stress disorder varies by case, but the onset almost exclusively occurs after a traumatic event or experience. In times of distress, people may experience a natural “fight or flight” response in the body. While this heightened awareness and rush of adrenaline usually dissipate after a dangerous situation resolves, some researchers believe people experiencing PTSD have difficulty recovering from this state.
Veterans of war, or those in the armed services, are frequent victims of PTSD due to the nature of their work. For example, The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that approximately 15% of Vietnam War Veterans received a diagnosis of PTSD after the war. Some veterans may live with an undiagnosed case of PTSD as well.
While military service can increase your risk of PTSD, anyone can develop this disorder. You may have been involved in an accident, experienced a form of mental or physical abuse, or lived through trauma of a different nature.
PTSD Symptoms in Veterans
The symptoms of PTSD include:
- Becoming easily startled, frightened, or overly reactive.
- Substance abuse and other forms of self-destructive behavior.
- Guilt, shame, or feelings of worthlessness.
- Personality changes.
- Dreams of nightmares, or sleeping difficulties.
- Flashbacks to traumatic events.
- Avoidance of things that trigger memories of the traumatic experience.
- Heightened or prolonged anxiety.
- Suicidal thoughts.
If you or someone you love is exhibiting any of these symptoms, or any other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, a medical professional may help you develop a treatment plan. PTSD constitutes a serious condition that can completely debilitate a veteran and even prove fatal in some cases.
Veteran Abuse in a Nursing Home Setting
Sadly, many veterans who risk their lives for their country have a difficult time returning to a civilian way of life. Sometimes veterans with physical or mental disabilities resulting from their service remain vulnerable to abuse if they rely on caregivers for assistance with daily needs. If you or a family member experienced abuse or mistreatment as a veteran while living with PTSD in a nursing home, you may qualify to file a legal claim.
Nursing homes have a high standard of care as well as individualized healthcare plans for each resident. If a caregiver or someone else in the nursing home abuses the veteran—either physically, emotionally, or financially—they may bear liability for any resulting injuries that befall the veteran. If they fail to accommodate a veteran’s PTSD, they may also prove negligent in a personal injury case.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Learn More
If you or someone you care about suffers from PTSD, resources remain available for you to get help. Post-traumatic stress disorder can result in life-threatening behavior, such as suicide, and nursing home staff and administration have a duty to protect all residents in their care, including veterans who suffer from this mental affliction. Speak to a medical professional about the best course of action for your loved one. You also have the right to seek legal representation to pursue financial recovery for any losses your loved one endured, like medical bills and pain and suffering.
If your loved one’s experience of abuse in a nursing home led to PTSD instead of a combat-related incident, you may also qualify to take legal action. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm handles veteran abuse and PTSD, and we offer our prospective clients a free consultation. Call (800) 842-6336 to discuss your options today.