Americans’ Strong Misconceptions On PTSD Revealed

In early June 2021, CVN revealed findings of its America’s Mental Health PTSD Pulse Survey, which looked at Americans’ general knowledge and understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. June marks PTSD Awareness Month intended to raise public awareness and reduce the stigma associated with the disorder.

PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. 

“A lack of understanding feeds into the stigma associated with mental health challenges such as PTSD, which can deter people from seeking care,” said Cohen Veterans Network President and CEO Dr. Anthony Hassan. “As a means to address any misunderstandings that surround PTSD, we wanted to take a look at Americans’ perceptions of the disorder. What we found is that there are strong misconceptions on everything from symptoms to treatments.”

The May 2021 survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults and conducted by The Harris Poll, offers a broad overview of Americans’ perceptions of PTSD. Among the highlights:

– Two-Thirds (67%) of Americans believe the Majority of Veterans Experience PTSD

– One in Four (26%) Americans believe the Majority of People with PTSD are Violent/Dangerous

– Nearly One in Four (23%) Americans believe PTSD is Not Treatable

– Additionally, two-thirds (65%) of Americans who have been diagnosed with PTSD say that the civil unrest, political polarization & isolation created by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year has negatively impacted their recovery