In the Spotlight

PTSD Treatment Options Can Work with Help from My HealtheVet

June is PTSD Awareness Month, a good time to stop and consider what type of help Veterans may need. PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

If you have PTSD, you might also have other health problems, such as depression or traumatic brain injury (TBI), problems with abusing drugs, or other physical health issues.

Whether you are getting treatment for PTSD or PTSD and one of these conditions, you need a way to keep track of appointments, medications, and sometimes vital signs. You will also need to have regular communication with your health care team.Veteran using secure messaging on a laptop

My HealtheVet helps Veterans with PTSD manage their health care, access their records, and talk to their providers by logging in with a Premium account.

Army Veteran Jerry Tyler has been using My HealtheVet for several years, and even more since he started therapy for PTSD. "I use Secure Messaging to ask about medication refills, and even to ask about appointments," Tyler said. "Mostly I would rather send a secure message than talk on the phone."

Veterans receiving treatment for PTSD often find using Secure Messaging to be a safe and secure way to communicate with therapists, doctors, and other members of the health care team. When you have questions about medications or treatment, you can more easily follow up with your doctor. You won't have to worry about getting bounced around on the phone.

Air Force Veteran Kenyon Campbell started using Secure Messaging after he took the PTSD screen. "I had TBI after a tour in Iraq, and I wasn't sure if I had PTSD, but I had symptoms that were upsetting me," Campbell said. "I signed up for My HealtheVet awhile back and saw an article in the health library about PTSD and thought I would check it out. Shortly after answering the questions I sent a Secure Message to my provider to ask for a mental health referral." Campbell said. "My advice to anyone is to sign up for Secure Messaging. It's so much easier than calling."

There are many resources available for Veterans with PTSD. One of the newest online tools from the National Center for PTSD is the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid.

The Decision Aid helps Veterans and family members learn about effective PTSD treatment options, compare different PTSD treatments, and read or watch videos about treatments and how they work. Veterans can build a chart to compare treatments they like most, and at the end print out a personalized summary they can share with their health care providers.

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PTSD screening tool (My HealtheVet)

Mobile Apps for PTSD (VA)

PTSD Treatment Decision Aid (VA)

National Center for PTSD