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The PTSD Issue

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Summer 2023                                                                             Take the PTSD Self-Screen Here

PTSD and Anger


Anger can be adaptive in some environments such as battle because it gives a Veteran motivation and focus. However, when Veterans return to civilian life with PTSD, anger can be disruptive and maladaptive, causing interpersonal problems in the home and at work.

Anger management is taught at VA Clinics and Vet Centers. The VA also developed the AIMS (Anger and Irritability Management Skills training) to help Veterans get along better with people, control reactions to irritating events, and avoid the negative consequences of becoming too angry.

At home, family members curb angry exchanges by communicating with love and respect, rather than impatience and sarcasm. Listen, don’t talk over or interrupt. Make an appointment to talk about a specific issue and agree on a time and place. Use “I” messages, and Keep It Short and Simple, one topic per sentence. Know when to back off and give your Veteran some space.

Coaching Into Care can help loved ones of Veterans identify what they are doing that works well and where they may need some additional support so they have successful conversations with their Veterans about seeking mental health treatment. Call us at (888) 823-7458.

Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for anger that has become abusive.

PTSD Self-Help

veteran with cat

Grounding is a coping strategy to “ground” an individual in the here and now. It can be helpful for some of the symptoms related to PTSD including flashbacks, dissociation and other types of anxiety. Grounding is sometimes referred to as using the five senses to cope.


Anyone can do this anywhere:

Sight – name 5 things you can see

Sound – name 4 things you can hear

Touch – name 3 things you can touch

Smell – name 2 things you can smell (or smells you like)

Taste – name 1 thing you can taste (or taste you like)

Veterans also can download the mobile app PTSD Coach which will help you cope with symptoms and find support.

Family members can download the mobile app PTSD Family Coach for ways to support a Veteran in the family with PTSD.

Moral Injury

moral injury

Moral injury is different from PTSD but can result from the same events. It is the damage done to one’s conscience or moral compass when that person perpetrates, witnesses, or fails to prevent acts that transgress one’s own moral beliefs, values, or ethical codes of conduct.

Clues that a Veteran you know may be dealing with moral injury, with or without PTSD: they seem to have lost their sense of faith, they’re not the same person as before, they threw their service medals away, strong feelings of guilt/shame/betrayal.

VA Treatment can benefit sufferers of moral injury just as it can those with PTSD, and is based on increasing willingness to experience painful emotions, developing greater psychological flexibility, and understanding and working toward personal values, which may have been violated during service.

Stakeholders promote Veterans’ mental health at annual event

MH summits

Community Mental Health Summits have been an integral part of VA facilities staying connected to our communities for the past 11 years. Mental Health Summits are hosted by the VA facilities across the country each year and bring together stakeholders to improve access to mental health care. Stakeholders include Veterans, current and former service members, and family members/caregivers, as well as representatives from federal and state agencies, local mental health groups, Veterans service organizations, health care facilities, schools, and universities. 

During FY22, we again saw an increase in the number of events. In total, we had over 47 events with over 5300+ attendees. Attendees indicated that communities need to collaborate even more now to ensure that Veterans and their families have access to the care they need, particularly mental health care.

For more information regarding your local or regional Mental Health Summit, contact



CIC would like to thank and recognize colleagues who collaborated with us to promote or arrange care for our families and their Veterans:

  • John Hopson, Columbia Vet Center
  • Marcus Brown, College Park/Atlanta Vet Center
  • Carol Vanzant, Oklahoma City Vet Center
  • Colin Farley (Local MH Summit Coordinator), Des Moines VA Medical Center

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