PTSD Explained

What is PTSD?

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health disorder that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. Almost everybody has stress reactions in the immediate aftermath of events like these, such as difficulty sleeping, feeling on edge, or having painful memories of the event. But, while most people gradually feel better over time, some continue to have lasting symptoms that interfere with their lives and their well-being. In some cases, those symptoms take the form of PTSD.

PTSD Explained

What Are Symptoms of PTSD?

Is PTSD Treatable?

Get the Facts on PTSD

Most people have heard of PTSD and may have an impression of what the disorder looks like. But there are still many popular misconceptions about it as revealed in the America’s Mental Health PTSD Pulse Survey. Some of the misconceptions may be keeping people away from the support that could help them get better.

It is so important for people to realize that treatment for PTSD is available, and that it works. People experiencing PTSD do not have to suffer”.

-Dr. Anthony Hassan, Cohen Veterans Network President and CEO

What Treatments Are Available for PTSD?

PTSD is treatable. There are multiple treatment options that have been proven effective for treating the disorder, including:

  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) – Helps you process traumatic events through gradual repeated exposure to trauma-related memories, emotions, and situations.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) – Targets ways of thinking that might keep you “stuck” in your PTSD.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – Involves moving your eyes in a specific way while processing traumatic memories. 

Many people who engage in treatment recover fully from PTSD.  “Therapy can help you reconnect with the things that you used to love and live your life based on your values instead of just avoiding memories or triggers and trying to get by. I’ve seen hundreds of clients recover from PTSD. It’s hard work, but I know it can be done,” says Dr. Stephanie Renno, Vice President of Clinical Practice & Training at CVN, as well as trauma therapist and CPT trainer.

PTSD Resources for Military Families

VA's PTSD Family Coach App

Provides facts about PTSD, how families can better support a loved one with PTSD, and themselves, and tools to help family members manage stress.

Download the App

National Center for PTSD Treatment Decision Aid

Enables users to compare effective treatment options for PTSD to help determine what might work best for them.

Try the Decision Aid

Cohen Veterans Network

The network’s Cohen Clinics across the country provide accessible, high-quality treatment for PTSD and other mental health challenges. CVN treats the entire military family with services available in-person or via telehealth.

Connect to Care

Understanding PTSD: A Guide for Family and Friends

Provides strategies and tips to supporting a loved one who is experiencing PTSD including how to communicate with them and help them through treatment.

View the Guide