· Contributors · Organizations ·
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Experiences and Challenges: A Qualitative Study with Combat Veterans
SessionPoster Session 1
DescriptionPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent mental health disorder among veterans. Current treatments involve pharmacotherapy and/or psychotherapy. For patients undergoing psychotherapy, most PTSD episodes tend to occur between clinician sessions. This paper seeks to investigate the experiences and challenges associated with living with PTSD from a veteran’s perspective, as well as mitigation tools and strategies employed by patients for self-management. Qualitative data analysis of interviews revealed the most common PTSD trauma cues: crowds, sounds and noises, and driving-related triggers. Participants also provided insight into their physiological (e.g., increased heart rate, sweat, shortness of breath) and psychological (e.g., hyper-alertness, anxiety, anger) reactions during PTSD hyperarousal events. Participants in our study demonstrated an awareness of the impact of PTSD on their daily life, and have adapted preventive measures, such as breathing and mindfulness techniques, trigger avoidance, and exercise.