Many people think that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that only affects veterans who have seen combat.
Many health impairments, both mental and physical, have listings in the federal regulations. Listings are a set of criteria that need that need to be met. Meeting the criteria is proven through medical records and testimony. Mental health is no exception to the requirements. However, starting January 2017, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will have its own listing. Currently, PTSD is evaluated under the anxiety listing. But the new listing recognizes PTSD as an impairment apart from anxiety. To show that you meet the listing for PTSD, you need to show that there was exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or violence; that you suffer from involuntary re-experiencing of the traumatic event, like dreams or flashbacks; that you avoid reminders of the event; and that you have increased re-activity such as an exaggerated startle response.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be a debilitating condition, and it is a mental disorder that currently affects hundreds of thousands of people in our country. Unfortunately, the condition can be so difficult to live with that it prevents some folks from being able to work or even from being able to enjoy spending time with their loved ones.