I have a great job and apartment in the city but a few months ago I was attacked by a man I knew. We were friends but he wanted more from me. I begged him to stop but he continued to violently attack me. I couldn’t understand why he was doing this to me. I was too ashamed to tell my family or the police. I can’t function the way I used to. I know I need help but where do I go?
IN 2016, THE U.S. EXPERIENCED
Army and Marine soldiers who served in Iraq experienced stressors such as seeing dead bodies
Army and Marine soldiers who served in Iraq experienced stressors such as being shot at
Soldiers who served in Iraq experienced stressors such as being ambushed or attacked
Soldiers who served in Iraq experienced stressors such as knowing someone who was killed or injured
Best PTSD Organizations
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): PTSD
If you’re looking for foundational, science-backed information on PTSD, the National Institute of Mental Health, which is part of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health, is a great place to turn. In addition to offering explanations about treatment and therapy options for PTSD, signs and symptoms of PTSD, and causes and risk factors of PTSD, this online resource features a feed of news stories that detail the latest research about PTSD, has a page that helps users join clinical trials on PTSD, and offers free booklets and brochures on PTSD in English and Spanish.
American Psychiatric Association (APA)
The APA offers resources on managing PTSD and common comorbidities like bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders through informational pages, expert Q&As, patient stories, and more.
The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical center and research institution that has consistently ranked as a top clinical resource for people affected by a variety of health concerns, including diabetes, pulmonary disease, and women’s health. On its PTSD page, Mayo offers basic information on what PTSD is, what its symptoms are, how it’s diagnosed, who’s at risk, possible causes and complications of the mental illness, and other essential facts to know to manage the condition well.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD
The National Center for PTSD is part of the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, which is the federal branch that provides health services for military service members and their dependents. Its website is dedicated to educating clinicians and the public on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for PTSD. The National Center for PTSD’s website is divided into sections that aim to help readers understand must-know aspects of the disease, including the different types of trauma that can trigger the condition and what to do if a loved one is struggling with PTSD.
PTSD Foundation of America
This nonprofit is committed to increasing public awareness of PTSD, as well as providing support to those living with the condition and their families. The foundation has a variety of programs designed to promote healing and offers a wealth of resources on peer mentoring, group meetings, and other forms of counseling. The site also provides crisis hotline information and an assessment test to help identify PTSD in yourself or a loved one.
PTSD United’s mission is to “empower and provide support for anyone affected by post-traumatic stress.” It’s an excellent starting point for connecting with people who know what it is like to live with PTSD and for acquiring a deeper understanding of this condition. The site features forums and support groups that allow survivors to share their personal stories or to read the stories of others.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
PTSD can cause ongoing mental distress, and it takes time to heal emotionally. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a crisis center that provides free emotional support to those living with PTSD and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ability to talk with someone can make the recovery process easier. Its website also contains information on finding support groups and therapists by location, as well as inspirational stories from survivors.
Best Resources for Finding Treatment
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress is a network of professionals who are dedicated to the care and support of individuals who’ve experienced traumatic events in their lives. The academy not only strives to increase awareness of PTSD, but it also recognizes professionals in different disciplines who’ve demonstrated an understanding of what occurs during traumatic stress, which allows them to help victims become survivors.
U.S. Department of Veterans
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: PTSD Treatment Programs
Here, a number of specialists are available to provide the support and care needed to help individuals overcome trauma. There are more than 200 PTSD programs in the U.S., so help is just a phone call away. Programs entail evaluation and treatment for PTSD, which may include one-on-one therapy, group therapy, medication, and education to understand how trauma affects one’s life.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Finding a Therapist
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also has resources for finding a therapist to assist with recovery. Regardless of where a person lives, there’s a professional in their local area who can provide ongoing support and care. This website provides information for finding a provider online and by phone.
Best Resources for Clinical Trials
Participating in a clinical trial helps advance medical care and provides an opportunity to receive free or low-cost cutting-edge care for PTSD. The ClinicalTrials.gov database is an excellent tool for locating eligible trials for participation. Use the search tool to find a list of PTSD trials in your area.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Trials
This is another helpful resource for PTSD clinical trials. Along with providing information on trials in your area, the website offers educational resources, news releases, and personal stories from volunteers.
Research at the National Center for PTSD: Join a Study
Through a program via the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, you can join a study to help researchers better understand the effects of trauma and how PTSD affects people over time. Participation also helps researchers learn new ways to treat symptoms of this condition. This site provides information on clinical trial opportunities and insight as to what you can expect by joining a study.
Center Watch provides a comprehensive list of PTSD clinical trials that are currently seeking volunteers. Read details of a study, such as the location and who to contact to enroll. There’s also a search filter to narrow down the list and find studies that are close to your hometown.
Clinical Connection makes it easy to locate PTSD clinical studies to join. The site includes a list of active studies, along with study summaries, qualifications for participation, and information on compensation.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Center (NCCIHC)
The NCCIHC provides lots of information on complementary therapies to go along with traditional PTSD treatment. A quick search of PTSD on the site produces information on how to ease symptoms with acupuncture, relaxation, and mind-and-body approaches.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Complementary and Alternative Medicine for PTSD
This is another helpful resource for effectively managing symptoms of trauma with complementary and alternative medicine. Here, you’ll find an overview of therapies, including acupuncture, meditation, yoga, relaxation, and other mind-and-body practices.
Best Advocacy and Support Groups for PTSD
Military With PTSD
The underlying mission of Military with PTSD is “helping families connect despite PTSD.” The organization, which got its start on Facebook in August 2010, aims to do this by educating families about PTSD, providing support for individuals affected by PTSD, raising awareness about suicide prevention among people with PTSD, advocating for victims of domestic violence, and educating other groups such as employers, public entities, and law enforcement officials.
Camp Hope: A PTSD Foundation of America Outreach
Camp Hope is a faith-based nonprofit that strives to inform combat veterans and their families about PTSD and help them “adjust and find their new normal.” The organization has 15 chapters across 15 U.S. states; features Warrior Groups, which offer support for veterans affected by PTSD; and hosts a radio show that’s designed to be inspirational and informational.
Make the Connection
Speaking with a therapist is one way to heal and recover from PTSD. But it’s also beneficial to hear stories of triumph from people who’ve lived through trauma. Make the Connection is the perfect site for this. It provides personal videos from veterans recounting their challenges with PTSD. Filter these videos by military branch, combat experience, or gender.
PTSD Alliance is another site for comprehensive information on PTSD. It covers topics ranging from who’s at risk to common myths related to the disorder. There’s also plenty of resources for getting help. These include hotline information, support groups, and a directory of professionals who can offer support.
After Deployment is a wellness resource for veterans and their families, providing guidance and advice on depression, anger, anxiety, relationships, and work adjustment. It also has valuable resources on PTSD such as assessment tests and educational videos. Other features on the site include a community forum, articles, tips, and links to books.
PTSD Anonymous is a nationwide support group led by veterans. Anyone with PTSD (and their friends and family) are invited to join meetings. Here, survivors and their loved ones can receive support and encouragement from their peers. Meeting information is available by city and state.
Best Resources for Financial Assistance
Transitioning from military life to civilian life can be financially challenging, especially when a veteran leaves the military due to disability or other health issues. Suiting Warriors is committed to making this transition easier by providing veterans with suits or business attire — at no charge — so they can look their best when interviewing for employment outside of the military.
Wounded Warrior Homes
Wounded Warrior Homes is an organization that provides housing to veterans who have PTSD or a traumatic brain injury. The website provides information on how to make a donation to support the organization’s mission. Plus, there’s an online application for those who may be eligible for housing assistance through the program.
Best PTSD Blogs
KyAnn Betz, the woman behind PTSD Chick, is a mother, a wife, and a survivor of rape that resulted in a PTSD diagnosis and years of consequent struggles. On her website, she shares the raw details of her traumatic experience and how she has paved a road toward recovery. Betz, who details a number of certifications on her About Me page (including certified sexual assault advocate and certified confidential communicator), offers a resources page of her own with emergency hotlines and informational page recommendations. “I’m a mom. A wife. A daughter. A sister. A friend. An employee. A boss. A rape victim. A rape survivor. A PTSD victim. A PTSD survivor,” she writes in part on her website. “I can help you too.”
A group of women who either have PTSD or have a loved one with PTSD run this inspirational blog, which aims to share “just the good honest truth about what really goes on, why, and what everyone involved can do to help.” On this blog, you’ll find advice on products to help you manage PTSD, stories around recovery, information for understanding the basics of PTSD and its symptoms, and a trove of other resources.
Heal My PTSD
Michelle Rosenthal, the voice behind Heal My PTSD, lived with PTSD for more than 25 years. Today, she devotes her time and energy to helping others cope and survive the effects of trauma. Her blog provides an abundance of encouragement and support, while also providing readers with general information on PTSD. There’s insight on symptoms, treatments, and statistics, as well as recommendations for books that focus on recovery and an archive of interviews from experts and everyday people.
Catherine developed PTSD after 18 years of being a police officer. She describes this condition as one of many occupational hazards of working in law enforcement. She uses her blog as a platform to share her experiences on living with post-traumatic stress and to raise awareness about mental health conditions. She covers a variety of topics on her blog, from showing empathy to learning how to deal with stress.
Other Great Websites for PTSD
Psych Central’s PTSD page offers an introduction on PTSD symptoms and treatment, and its larger site contains quizzes, news, expert commentary, research, and resources for people managing various health conditions. Under its Find Help tab, Psych Central helps readers identify a local therapist or even get online help through its “Ask a Therapist” service or via its online self-help support groups.
Psyschology Today (PTSD)
Psychology Today is a print magazine that is published every two months in the United States. Its website explains exactly what it means to have PTSD and provides links to several articles related to the topic. Recent article titles include “Talk About It: Healing PTSD,” “The Latest and Greatest in Treatment for PTSD,” and “Nightmares After Trauma.”