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.