Aging Veterans and PTSD symptoms later in life

From the US Department of Veterans Affairs:

PTSD symptoms later in life

Many older Veterans find they have PTSD symptoms even fifty or more years after their wartime experience.  Some symptoms of PTSD include having nightmares or feeling like you are reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, being easily startled, and loss of interest in activities. There are a number of reasons why symptoms of PTSD may increase with age:

  • Having retired from work may make your symptoms feel worse, because you have more time to think and fewer things to distract you from your memories.
  • Having medical problems and feeling like you are not as strong as you used to be also can increase symptoms.
  • You may find that bad news on the television and scenes from current wars bring back bad memories.
  • You may have tried in the past to cope with stress by using alcohol or other substances. Then if you stop drinking late in life, without another, healthier way of coping, this can make PTSD symptoms seem worse.

If you or a loved one are struggling in this area and you’d like to learn more about what you can do, click on the link below.  The US Department of Veterans Affairs has a National Center for PTSD with resources that can help.

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/ptsd-older-vets.asp

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About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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