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As you work to complete your masters in social work it’s normal to start thinking about your future career. One area that may interest you is helping veterans, which will put to use all you’ve learned in your degree program. When dealing with veterans, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is incredibly common, so with that said it’s important you know what signs to look for.

Here’s a look at the top five signs of PTSD.

What is PTSD

Before we look at the signs, it’s important to understand what PTSD is. This disorder can happen to anyone at any time, not just veterans. It occurs when the person has gone through a stressful event in their life that makes them feel scared for their own safety. As far as men go, PTSD is most commonly brought on by serving in combat. This is exactly why it’s important to be aware of PTSD if you plan on working with veterans. It’s also important to note that the signs may not appear right away. Sometimes it can take months before they start to pop up.

If left untreated, PTSD can end up being disabling and affect people both mentally and physically.

The Most Common Symptoms

While each person is different, these tend to be the most common symptoms that occur in people.

  • The person may start to feel numbness as far as emotions go. They may start to avoid loved ones, friends, places, and activities that act as a reminder of the traumatic event they went through.
  • The person may re-live the experience in their mind over and over again. This may happen while they are sleeping and occur as nightmares, or it can be flashbacks while they are awake. Re-living it brings about all kinds of emotions.
  • The person may have problems focusing and concentrating on everyday tasks, may have problems sleeping, gets mad quickly and easily, and is always on edge.
  • The person may become quite negative about life in general. They may look at themselves negatively, others, their job, their home life, etc. They can start to pull away from people who are close to them.
  • They may start become self-destructive when it comes to their own safety and well-being.

The Role of the Social Worker

As a social worker it will be your job to help veterans with their PTSD, the anxiety and stress it causes in all aspects of their life. You may be able to help them get government benefits, help them finding housing, work out their finances, and even help them to find a job.

A Wonderful Way to Give Back

Social work in itself is a wonderful way to give back to people, but when it comes to a rewarding career path it’s hard to beat working with veterans. It’s a way to show them how much their sacrifice means and help them to get back on their feet and live as normal of a life as possible.