A Non-Profit Organization working for Veterans with PTSD & their Families
It is estimated that there are more than 540,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) . PTSD can have profound psychological, emotional and behavioral impact on those who are suffering and can have devastating effects on the mental health and life satisfaction of the veterans’ partner as well. Research that has examined the effect of PTSD on intimate relationships reveals severe and pervasive negative effects on marital adjustment, general family functioning, and the mental health of partners. Additionally, new research highlights that a veteran’s PTSD can impact their significant other, who is at risk of developing vicarious trauma or secondary traumatic stress (STS) whose symptoms mirror those of PTSD . The need for strong social support is no surprise to Army Veteran Melvin “Will” Williams and his wife Alison Leapley-Williams. While they are one of the hundreds of thousands of families affected by PSTD, they still felt very alone in their daily struggles with PTSD. The therapy Will sought felt too forced since he had nothing in common with the other veterans except their diagnosis. Alison felt alone as she worked to support Will and, as a result, often swallowed her own feelings and needs. They found there was one place they did not feel alone- with friends who also struggled with PTSD in their family. With these friendships, PTSD was part of the conversation but not the dominant topic. Both Alison and Will noticed what the research suggests- these friendships positively impacted their mood, relationship, and ability to cope with daily stressors. They realized how much friendship - built on common interests not just a PTSD diagnosis in the family- made a positive difference in their lives and ability to cope and that is why they started Operation Green Zone
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs after experiencing extreme trauma or a life-threatening event. One in five veterans of the Iraq or Iraqi war came home with PTSD. While the consequences of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be severe, full recovery is possible if you can identify the symptoms in time.
Operation Green Zone is a non-profit organization designed solely to help Veterans with PTSD and their families.
PTSD is just one of the possible effects of trauma. People experience a range of reactions following a traumatic event. This section will help you to learn more about other common problems and reactions related to experiencing trauma. For Veterans, also see the VA Mental Health website.
Symptoms of PTSD
Avoidance: Explains emotional and behavioral avoidance and how avoidant coping can get in the way of healing from trauma.
Reminders of Trauma: Anniversaries. On the anniversary of traumatic events, some people may find that they experience an increase in distressing memories of the event.
Common Reactions After Trauma
Following exposure to a trauma most people experience stress reactions. Here is a description of the types of common symptoms that can occur. Common problems are also addressed.
Acute Stress Disorder
Discusses ASD, including who is at risk, how is it treated, and how is it related to PTSD.
Anger and Trauma
Describes the relationship between trauma and anger and provides treatment strategies for the three manifestations of anger.
Sleep and PTSD
Learn why people with PTSD may have trouble sleeping and what they can do about it.
Nightmares and PTSD. Explains what nightmares are, how common they are, how they are related to PTSD, and what effective treatments exist.
Substance Use and Other Mental Health Conditions
PTSD and Problems with Alcohol Use
The impact of PTSD on alcohol use and dependence.
PTSD and Substance Abuse in Veterans
How PTSD is related to Substance Use Disorder (SUD) in Veterans. Treatment options are presented.
Depression, Trauma, and PTSD
Explains what depression is, how it is treated, and what you can do about it.
Suicide and Self-Harm
What is self-harm, how common is it, who engages in self-harm and why, and treatments for self-harming behavior.
Suicide and PTSD. Learn about the relationship between trauma, PTSD, and suicide.
Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD. Discuss TBI, its relationship to PTSD, ways to cope, and TBI in Veterans.
Chronic Pain and PTSD: A Guide for Patients. Learn more about chronic pain, how doctors evaluate it, and how is may be related to trauma and PTSD.Type your paragraph here.
For more information, please visit The US Department of Veteran Affairs