PTSD Clinical Program
The PTSD Program at the James J Peters Bronx Veterans Affairs Traumatic Stress Studies Division
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is estimated to occur in up to 30% of soldiers exposed to combat. Therefore, for many, combat-related PTSD remains a serious and chronic problem that can lead to substantial disability and long-term difficulties in social, occupational and interpersonal domains.
Although PTSD can occur in veterans of any war (and at any age), each war has its own set of circumstances with each veteran having his/her own unique experience. As a result, our clinical program works with each veteran individually in the context of his or her own personal history. In addition to treating symptoms of PTSD directly, our program focuses on helping veterans reduce the intense feelings of isolation, loneliness and anger that often occur after having experienced trauma. This includes services to treat depression, anxiety, and substance use, as well as serious medical issues that combat veterans are often at increased risk for developing (e.g. hypertension, obesity, diabetes, early-age heart disease, immune and pain disorders).
PTSD in Veterans
- Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF Veterans)
Up to 20% of OIF and OEF veterans develop PTSD. However, adding to this concern is that studies have found that up to 60% of these veterans have not sought help from a professional for this problem.
- Persian Gulf War Veterans
An estimated 10% of Gulf War Veterans develop PTSD. In addition to suffering from emotional distress, Persian Gulf War veterans suffer from chronic health symptoms. These health symptoms—some of which not yet fully understood–can increase anxiety about the potential long-term effects of the Persian Gulf War.
- Vietnam Veterans
Many Vietnam veterans have not only survived combat exposure but also live with the experience of having served in an “unpopular” war and feeling that their emotional problems were not adequately appreciated and treated when they returned. As a result, Vietnam veterans often suffer from very complex feelings of guilt, anger, sadness and grief that can intensify over time.
- Korean War Veterans and World War II Veterans
Although many veterans suffer from PTSD for years, some only become aware of the emotional toll the war has taken on their lives later on in life. Symptoms that initially decreased, may re-emerge as a veteran gets older. Our program can address the effects of trauma on aging and help veterans cope more effectively.
Rachel Yehuda, PhD
Tel: 718-741-4000 x6677