The three common symptoms of PTSD are: avoidance... when the person affected avoids discussing and re-experiencing the trauma, Interference with Daily Living through increased arousal seen through trouble sleeping and irritability, and Re-living the event through flashbacks and nightmares. Major Philip Bascom says he has seen the avoidance symptoms years after the trauma took place.
The most common treatments for PTSD involve different forms of discussing the trauma, allowing the person affected to take ownership of the event and not allowing it to control them.
The Institute of Medicine has recently released a recommendation to Congress to broaden patient access to PTSD treatment for Department of Defense service members and Veterans, and require annual screenings for the disorder. Cheunita Cruz, nurse practitioner at Robins, says this will probably not affect the way they conduct health screenings on base.
Currently, screenings begin on service members the day they are told they will be deployed, they have another screening 30 days before they return home, 3-6 months later, then between 7-12 months and 16-24 months.
Major Bascom adds service members also attend a mandatory Public Health Assessment on their birthday every year, where various screenings for both physical and mental health take place. He says this essentially already provides the potential for PTSD diagnosis the Institute of Medicine recommends.