WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- Post-traumatic stress disorder affects 1-in-29 Americans, including combat veterans, first responders, abuse victims and disaster survivors, U.S. officials say.
"PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people develop after seeing or living through an event that caused or threatened serious harm or death," Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. "PTSD may result in sleep problems, irritability, anger, recurrent dreams about the trauma, intense reactions to reminders of the trauma, disturbances in relationships, and isolation. Some people may recover a few months after the event, but for others it may take years. For some, PTSD may begin long after the events occur."
Under the Affordable Care Act, HHS is partnering with the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration to share ideas on how to improve the quality of health care for veterans and all Americans with PTSD, Sebelius said.
"If you think that you or someone you know has PTSD, there is help available," she said. "Talk with a caring VA counselor by calling 1-800-273-8255 or visit the online VA Chat at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Veterans/Default.aspx."
"The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Mental Health also offer a variety of resources designed to help people who suffer from PTSD at http://store.samhsa.gov/mhlocator," Sebelius said.