You are not alone, PTSD treatment aboard Camp Lejeune (2023)

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The effects of the war in Iraq and Global War on Terrorism have real costs and these costs are not only dollars and cents — they’re in our service members, their friends and families.

“There are extensive programs for active-duty service members returning from deployments,” said Langenfeld. “We understand there is a fear of treatment because of what people you work with may think of you, but this help will allow you to come back to work and be successful. No one is going to admonish you for seeking help.”

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a traumatic event. Most survivors of trauma return to normal after a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time; these individuals may develop PTSD, according to the National Center for PTSD.

“Everyone in a combat situation will have some kind of stress to take back home and usually the stress subsides, but PTSD is a real, lasting disorder, which needs to be treated by a professional,” said Sandra Bragg, supervisor social worker of the Marine Corps Community Services Community Counseling Center here.

The symptoms for PTSD can be broken down into three different categories; behavioral reactions, physical reactions and emotional reactions, according to the National Center for PTSD.

Behavioral reactions such as inhibited concentration, jumpiness, bad dreams, flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of people or places related to the trauma, work or school problems and loss of intimacy or feelings of withdrawal, detachment and disconnection.

Physical reactions can show up as sleeplessness, fatigue, upset stomach, loss of appetite, headaches and sweating when thinking of combat, lack of exercise, poor diet, rapid heartbeat or breathing, alcohol and tobacco abuse, or drug use and other health problems becoming worse.

Emotional reactions can be more serious, like feeling nervous, helpless, fearful, sad, guilty, rejected, abandoned, edginess, easily upset or annoyed, experiencing shock, being numb, unable to feel happy, feeling hopeless about the future, irritable or angry and not trusting others, being over controlling and having lots of conflicts.

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Seeking help isn’t an immediate trip out of the military, said Langenfeld. Treatments have been very successful at the hospital and there are support systems throughout the base.

There are choices for service members, but a lot of them depend on what unit the person falls under and whether that person recently returned from a deployment or what level of care a person may require, which will determine which organization will provide assistance, he said.

Active-duty service members aboard Camp Lejeune can come directly to the Naval Hospital here to receive treatment and can be placed in the hospitals new program ‘Back on Track,’ said Langenfeld.

The intensive outpatient program, groups 15 people, who meet every day for two weeks, he said. People in the program speak with others suffering and receive the guidance of a trained professional.

“We have people in the group from Vietnam, the Gulf war and Iraq and even though they’re all from different wars their symptoms are all the same, but when guided by a professional there is a great success rate for recovery for all of them,” he said.

Troops heading, during and returning from deployment receive a large amount of PTSD support from the hospital and other groups, said Langsfeld.

Prior to a deployment the hospital performs a pre-deployment brief to go over the effects of combat and how to cope with time away from home and combat stress, explains Langsfeld.

This support does not end on the mainside, Marines also receive mid-deployment briefs by doctors traveling with the unit. These briefs are an opportunity for the doctors to provide resources for personnel experiencing stress that they cannot cope with, he said.

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Upon return from a deployment, Marines and sailors are offered the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Program, which is a new program mandated by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and designed to identify and address health concerns, with specific emphasis on mental health, that have emerged over time since deployment, according to the Department of Defense Deployment Health Clinical Center.

The PDHRA Program uses DD Form 2900 to document health concerns, assessment and referrals. After service members have completed the form, a healthcare provider will discuss with the service member any health concerns, which they have indicated on the form, and will make referrals to appropriate healthcare or community-based services if further evaluation or treatment is needed, according to the center.

Once completed DD 2900 will be printed and placed in the individual’s permanent medical record allowing the service member to create a lasting record for reference by future heath care providers.

Although documentation is important, Marines from 2nd Marine Division, who are returning from deployment, need to speak to people, said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Armwood, corpsman for 2nd Marine Division Psychological.

Second Marine Division Psychological screens and provides counseling service as well as regular psychological care using trained professionals, explains Armwood

“We exclusively take care of Marines who are part of 2nd Marine Division, but there are many resources on base, which people can take advantage of,” said Armwood.

Some people suffering from PTSD can be afraid to visit a hospital or a psychological department, so a chaplain can be a good option, explains Navy Cmdr. Telleen Brad, 10th Marine Regimental chaplain and 2nd Marine Division remain behind leadership chaplain.

“I see the chaplains as the first line of defense,” said Brad “Every Marine or sailor who deploys to Iraq there is a chaplain there with them, living in the same conditions and dealing with the same problems they deal with, so we can understand what they are going through on a personal level.”

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The chaplain’s office is a non-threatening place for people to come, and what is said behind the door stays behind the door, said Brad.

Another option for service members on base is the Marine Corps Community Services Community Counseling Center, at 451-2864, which offers programs to assist service members and their families in a safe and confidential environment, said Bragg.

For an even more discrete evaluation, referral, and treatment programs, Military OneSource, at 1-800-342-9647 or at, offers a free 24-hour service, provided by the Department of Defense, to all active duty, National Guard, and reserve members and their families, according to their Web site.

Services include consultation online or by telephone, with referral for up to six free face-to-face counseling sessions, on issues including combat stress, reunion and reintegration, and family relationships, with a professional in your community.

“It’s important to know that there are a lot of resources available to you and you’re not alone,” concluded Langsfeld.

Resources available for PTSD:

Aboard Camp Lejeune

Naval Hospital mental health self-referrals 450-4700

(Video) Kenneth Green, US Marine Corps, Vietnam War

2nd Marine Division Psychiatry 450-8598

2nd Marine Division Chaplains 450-8608

Community Counseling Center 451-2864 / 2876

War Zone Stress Workshop 451-2864

Beyond the Brief, a six-week workshop from stress, PTSD to the home coming presented by the Marine Corps Family Team Building 451-0176

Other resources:

National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 802-296-6300 or

Military OneSource or 800-342-9647

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What is the meaning of PTSD in Marine? ›

Marines who have experienced active duty incidents, violence, or even unrelated stateside traumatic event often carry memories of these traumas for long periods of time. Without proper support, untreated trauma can turn into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What causes PTSD in Marines? ›

When you serve in the military, you may be exposed to different traumatic events than civilians. The war you served in may also affect your risk because of the types of trauma that were common. War zone deployment, training accidents and military sexual trauma (or, MST) may lead to PTSD.

Can Marines get PTSD? ›

PTSD is one of the most common mental health disorders found among the U.S. Marines7, and anxiety and depression are common as well. Some of the signs of PTSD include: Flashbacks and nightmares related to the trauma.

Is Camp Lejeune still open? ›

Today, as in the past, Camp Lejeune's mission remains the same — to maintain combat-ready units for expeditionary deployment.

What qualifies as PTSD in the military? ›

We consider any of these to be a traumatic event: You suffered a serious injury, personal or sexual trauma, or sexual violation, or. You were threatened with injury, sexual assault, or death.

How long does military PTSD last? ›

PTSD can be either acute or chronic. The symptoms of acute PTSD last for at least one month but less than three months after the traumatic event. In chronic PTSD, symptoms last for more than three months after exposure to trauma.

Which branch of military has most PTSD? ›

All Veterans make great sacrifices for the good of their country. However, PTSD rates in Marines are significantly higher than the rates of those who served in other branches.

What is the VA percentage for PTSD? ›

What is the Average VA Disability Rating for PTSD? On average, most veterans who receive VA disability for their service-connected PTSD are rated at the 70 percent level.

What are the 17 symptoms of PTSD? ›

Changes in physical and emotional reactions
  • Being easily startled or frightened.
  • Always being on guard for danger.
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior.
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame.

Can I be discharged for PTSD? ›

If your post-traumatic stress disorder is very severe, you may wish to seek to be discharged from the military on the basis of a PTSD disability. You cannot apply for such a discharge; instead it must be recommended by a military doctor.

Can the military kick you out for PTSD? ›

Other disqualifying mental health conditions include: A history of obsessive-compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.

What are the symptoms of PTSD in the Marines? ›

However, there are some key symptoms, which include:
  • Irritability and anger outbursts.
  • Excessive fear and worry.
  • Headaches and fatigue.
  • Depression and apathy.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Problems sleeping.
  • Changes in behavior or personality.

How much is the Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout? ›

Victims who pursue a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim will receive lucrative settlements which could be well over $1 million in some cases. Camp lejeune lawsuit payout per person will depend on the severity of the disease and cancer of the victim.

How much is the settlement for Camp Lejeune? ›

Depending on injuries suffered, conditions diagnosed, and evidence available, individual settlement amounts for exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune could be significant. Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts could be between $10,000 and $500,000 depending on the strength of your case.

Who qualifies for Camp Lejeune lawsuit? ›

Under the law, anyone who “resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed” to Camp Lejeune drinking water for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may be eligible to file a damages claim.

How do you prove PTSD? ›

To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following for at least 1 month:
  1. At least one re-experiencing symptom.
  2. At least one avoidance symptom.
  3. At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms.
  4. At least two cognition and mood symptoms.

What do I say to get 100% PTSD compensation? ›

100% – “Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including ...

How do I prove PTSD for disability? ›

Criteria for getting disability with PTSD
  1. You were exposed to or threatened with death, serious injury, or violence.
  2. You involuntarily re-experience the event through intrusive memories, dreams, or flashbacks.
  3. You avoid reminders of the event.
  4. You experience mood and behavior changes.
Jan 27, 2023

Does PTSD ever fully go away? ›

PTSD does not always last forever, even without treatment. Sometimes the effects of PTSD will go away after a few months. Sometimes they may last for years – or longer. Most people who have PTSD will slowly get better, but many people will have problems that do not go away.

Is PTSD a permanent VA disability? ›

The veteran's total disability due to PTSD is permanent with no likelihood of improvement. The 100 percent rating for PTSD is total, permanent, and static in nature.

Can PTSD get worse with age? ›

For some, PTSD symptoms may be worse in later years as they age. Learn how as an older Veteran, you may still be affected by your past service. There are tips to find help as well. “The PTSD will hit you hardest when you retire or you're not occupied all the time.”

What is the hardest part of PTSD? ›

5 of the Worst PTSD Symptoms (And How to Beat Them)
  • PTSD Symptom #1: Panic or Anxiety Attacks.
  • PTSD Symptom #2: Hypervigilance (Feeling on Edge)
  • PTSD Symptom #3: Avoidance of People and Places.
  • PTSD Symptom #4: Nightmares or Other Sleep Issues.
  • PTSD Symptom #5: Intrusive Memories or Flashbacks.
Apr 12, 2019

What profession suffers from PTSD the most? ›

Here are 7 professions that are most at risk for PTSD:
  • Military. It should come at no surprise that those working in the military are at a high risk for developing PTSD. ...
  • Police Officers. ...
  • Firefighters. ...
  • Emergency Medical and Ambulance Personal. ...
  • Healthcare Workers. ...
  • Journalists. ...
  • First Responders.

What is the most common mental illness in the military? ›

The most common mental health problems among personnel and veterans are depression, anxiety and alcohol problems. Some people experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Is PTSD 100% VA disability? ›

PTSD disability ratings can be 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. Transparency about your worst symptoms is vital for your rating. VA often rates veterans by the average of their symptoms. So, if a veteran has such symptoms that fall in the 30, 50, and 70% PTSD rating ranges, they will often get a 50% PTSD rating.

What is the highest VA disability rating for PTSD? ›

Understanding Your VA Disability Rating for PTSD

VA disability ratings range from 0% to 100%, but for PTSD claims, the standard ratings are 0%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%. These ratings are meant to capture the severity of your condition, and how much it affects your ability to work and take care of everyday life stuff.

What do you say at a PTSD exam? ›

Be honest about your PTSD symptoms, even embarrassing ones; Provide as much detail about your PTSD symptoms as possible; Take time to consider each question before providing an answer; and. Describe specific instances where your PTSD symptoms affected your daily life.

What does a PTSD episode look like? ›

vivid flashbacks (feeling like the trauma is happening right now) intrusive thoughts or images. nightmares. intense distress at real or symbolic reminders of the trauma.

What is my trauma test? ›

The Trauma Test is a brief self-administered rating scale. It is useful in determining the degree to which you struggle with the aftermath of trauma, anxiety or depression, nervous system overarousal, and difficulty with healing and recovery.

What not to say to someone with PTSD? ›

  • Give easy answers or blithely tell your loved one everything is going to be okay.
  • Stop your loved one from talking about their feelings or fears.
  • Offer unsolicited advice or tell your loved one what they “should” do.
  • Blame all of your relationship or family problems on your loved one's PTSD.
Feb 24, 2023

Can the VA deny PTSD? ›

To qualify for VA benefits with a PTSD diagnosis, you must include the necessary service records. The VA will often deny a PTSD claim if it does not have a record of your service. If the VA denied your PTSD claim for missing records, you can appeal the decision.

Is anxiety separate from PTSD VA rating? ›

So, the VA rates anxiety in the same way it rates depression or PTSD or OCD. This means that a veteran can only be rated for one specific mental condition to avoid the VA's rule against pyramiding; in simple terms, you cannot double dip benefits for several mental health conditions.

What does PTSD disqualify you from? ›

PTSD can prevent a person from returning to work or earning their regular income. Many employees suffering from this disorder can't perform their job-related duties or find work elsewhere. Workers who have PTSD could pursue benefits through their employer's workers' compensation insurance or Social Security disability.

Do all soldiers come back with PTSD? ›

Studies of Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans have shown that as many as 30 percent have developed PTSD. For veterans who saw combat, the risk of developing PTSD is even higher. The more tours you made and the more combat you experienced, the more likely it is that you'll develop PTSD.

Does the military check your mental health records? ›

Similarly, if you applied for a role in law enforcement or the military, you would have to pass a mental health check as per standard protocol. The assessment will often include an in-depth look into any previous history of mental illness.

When can PTSD be used as a defense? ›

Courts have often recognized testimony about PTSD as scientifically reliable. In addition, PTSD has been recognized by appellate courts in U.S. jurisdictions as a valid basis for insanity, unconsciousness, and self-defense.

What are the top 3 PTSD symptoms? ›

Common symptoms of PTSD and complex PTSD include:
  • avoiding situations that remind a person of the trauma.
  • dizziness or nausea when remembering the trauma.
  • hyperarousal, which means being in a continual state of high alert.
  • the belief that the world is a dangerous place.
  • a loss of trust in the self or others.
Feb 3, 2022

What are the 4 symptoms of PTSD common in veterans? ›

What are the Most Common PTSD Symptoms?
  • Recurrent, intrusive thoughts of the traumatic event. ...
  • Avoidance of things and situations that remind you of the traumatic experience. ...
  • Negative thoughts and feelings. ...
  • Irritable behavior.
Dec 27, 2020

How long will Camp Lejeune lawsuit take to settle? ›

Camp Lejeune water cases are expected to take one to two years to settle on average, so it may be a good idea to start a Camp Lejeune lawsuit right away. The money secured from a Camp Lejeune settlement can be used to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs.

How many people have signed up for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit? ›

Congress requested a response to its questions by “not later than June 9, 2023.” We look forward to the Navy's response and we will share that with you. The best estimate we have is that approximately 60,000 Camp Lejeune administrative claims have been filed. Still no settlements or settlement offers.

How long did you have to be at Camp Lejeune to qualify for the lawsuit? ›

Do I Qualify to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit? Anyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1953 and December 1987 and developed one of the illnesses listed above may qualify to file a lawsuit. This includes veterans, reservists, guardsmen, civilian workers and family members.

Has anyone been paid from the Camp Lejeune lawsuit? ›

While there may be compensation available through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there have not been any Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlements as of April 2022.

What's the latest on the Camp Lejeune lawsuit? ›

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is a bill which allows victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune to file lawsuits in federal court to recover a financial settlement for damages. The bill was signed into law in August of 2022, by President Biden.

Who benefits from Camp Lejeune lawsuit? ›

If you or a loved one served at the Camp Lejeune military base between the years 1953 to 1987, for a minimum of 30 days, then you are deemed eligible for compensation. Military disability applies to veterans who served at Camp Lejeune and were medically affected by the consumption of toxins in the drinking water.

Can family members file for Camp Lejeune lawsuit? ›

Family members can still seek compensation on their loved one's behalf, even if they passed away decades ago. You may be able to file a Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one: Lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. Spent at least 30 days there (consecutively or broken up over years)

What happens when a soldier gets PTSD? ›

Persistent negative emotions – Veterans who experience PTSD can be overwhelmed by negative feelings. A veteran may also feel difficulty establishing trust, experience feelings of guilt, shame, remorse, disinterest in previously enjoyable activities, or genuinely find it hard to feel happy.

How is PTSD treated in the military? ›

This includes proven methods like Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). 1-to-1 family therapy. Group therapy for special needs, like anger or stress management, or combat support. Group therapy for Veterans who served in certain combat zones or who've been through similar traumas.

How to date a Marine with PTSD? ›

  1. Make SELF-LOVE a Priority. This is for BOTH of you. ...
  2. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL. If you are extremely sensitive, being with a combat veteran is probably not a good idea for you. ...
  4. BE FLEXIBLE. ...
  5. One Day at a Time.

How much military disability is PTSD? ›

What is the Average VA Disability Rating for PTSD? On average, most veterans who receive VA disability for their service-connected PTSD are rated at the 70 percent level.

Can you be discharged from military for PTSD? ›

All branches of the military consider you to have a strong case for a discharge upgrade if you can show your discharge was connected to any of these categories: Mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Will I get kicked out of the military for PTSD? ›

It's possible that your PTSD may cause changes in your personality and/or conduct problems that could lead to a dishonorable discharge. If this happens, you're unable to obtain benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) when you return to civilian life.

What military branch has the highest PTSD? ›

All Veterans make great sacrifices for the good of their country. However, PTSD rates in Marines are significantly higher than the rates of those who served in other branches.

What are three 5 PTSD symptoms? ›

This can include:
  • panicking when reminded of the trauma.
  • being easily upset or angry.
  • extreme alertness, also sometimes called 'hypervigilance'
  • disturbed sleep or a lack of sleep.
  • irritability or aggressive behaviour.
  • finding it hard to concentrate – including on simple or everyday tasks.
  • being jumpy or easily startled.

What not to do to someone with PTSD? ›

  1. Give easy answers or blithely tell your loved one everything is going to be okay.
  2. Stop your loved one from talking about their feelings or fears.
  3. Offer unsolicited advice or tell your loved one what they “should” do.
  4. Blame all of your relationship or family problems on your loved one's PTSD.
Feb 24, 2023

What is the new treatment for PTSD? ›

“The Phase 3 confirmatory results support the development of MDMA-assisted therapy as a potentially new breakthrough therapy to treat individuals with PTSD—a patient population that is often left to suffer for years,” MAPS PBC CEO Amy Emerson said in a January 5 statement from the company.

Can someone with PTSD feel love? ›

Yes, a man with PTSD can fall in love and be in a relationship. PTSD does present its own set of challenges, such as the man feeling like he is unlovable, but if two dedicated partners work hard enough, they can conquer those emotions.

What happens when you yell at someone with PTSD? ›

Such an interaction could likely cause stress. And yelling can be a trigger for PTSD. However, if you do not have PTSD, making this comment can be insensitive to those with the condition. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, PTSD is a disorder in the DSM-5.

How does PTSD affect intimacy? ›

Survivors with PTSD may feel distant from others and feel numb. They may have less interest in social or sexual activities. Because survivors feel irritable, on guard, jumpy, worried, or nervous, they may not be able to relax or be intimate. They may also feel an increased need to protect their loved ones.


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