A Black man in soldier’s uniform speaks with a therapist wearing a dark blue suit.

Study Shows More Than Half of Veterans Who May Have PTSD Do Not Receive Treatment

A new study reveals that our service members are missing the treatment they deserve — more than half of veterans do not receive treatment for PTSD and the resulting symptoms.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as combat, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. For military veterans, PTSD is a common issue that can have long-lasting effects on mental health and quality of life.

Despite the availability of effective treatments for PTSD, a recent study has found that more than half of veterans who likely have PTSD do not receive treatment. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for increased awareness and access to mental health care for veterans, particularly those who may be struggling with PTSD.At the Brain Injury Law Center in Virginia, our attorneys are very familiar with the long-term effects of PTSD and how essential proper therapeutic care is for recovery. In this article, we will examine the prevalence of PTSD among veterans, the barriers to receiving treatment, and the potential consequences of untreated PTSD.

For legal concerns related to PTSD, brain injuries, and ways to pursue compensation for treatment, reach out to our attorneys online or at (757) 244-7000. Located in Hampton, home of the Fort Monroe and Langley Air Force bases, and neighboring the Pentagon near Arlington and Fort Eustis Army Base in Newport News, we are honored to help support veterans and their families seek justice.

What Is the Percent of Veterans with PTSD and How Many Lack Treatment?

In a recent issue of Medical Care, a top-rated healthcare administration journal, Dr. Rachel M. Ranney, Ph.D. and colleagues from the University of California in San Francisco revealed the following data:

  • Of 2,775 individuals with probable PTSD analyzed (2,508 veterans; 267 nonveterans), 56% of veterans and 86% of nonveterans had not received any PTSD treatment.
  • While veterans with probable PTSD were far more likely to receive treatment for PTSD than nonveterans due to its availability from their Veterans Affairs health coverage, over half still did not receive any related care.
  • Black veterans were less likely to have received PTSD treatment than White veterans.

Untreated PTSD can lead to serious consequences such as an increased risk of depression, substance abuse, suicide, impaired work performance, and relationship problems. Seeking professional help can provide effective treatments and improve overall quality of life.

The study’s authors included a statement along with their findings recommending that concerted efforts be made to increase the utilization of PTSD care among both veteran and nonveteran populations.

“Systemic change may be necessary to increase the availability of care for PTSD—especially for psychotherapy, which requires a higher time investment from providers.” — Authors Ranney et. al., Treatment Utilization for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a National Sample of Veterans and Nonveterans

What Is the Recommended Veteran PTSD Treatment?

There are several effective recommendations for veteran PTSD treatment, including:

  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a type of therapy that involves working with a mental health professional to develop coping strategies for managing symptoms of PTSD. Some of the most effective types of psychotherapy for PTSD include Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
  • Medication: Certain medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), can help manage symptoms of PTSD such as depression and anxiety.
  • Peer support groups: Peer support groups, such as those offered by the Veterans Administration, can be a helpful way to connect with other individuals who have experienced similar trauma and provide a sense of community and support.

It’s important to note that each individual may respond differently to treatment, and a combination of therapies may be the most effective approach. It’s important for veterans and other PTSD sufferers to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses individual needs and goals.

For those who experience PTSD after a traumatic event caused by someone else’s negligence, an experienced brain injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact our attorneys at the Brain Injury Law Center in Virginia by calling (757) 244-7000.

What Is the Veteran PTSD Treatment Success Rate?

The success rate of post-traumatic stress disorder treatment for veterans can vary depending on the individual, the severity of their symptoms, and the type of treatment they receive. However, research has shown that effective treatments can significantly reduce the symptoms of PTSD and improve overall quality of life.

For example, cognitive-behavioral therapies, such as cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy described above, can significantly reduce PTSD symptoms in up to 60-70% of veterans who complete the full course of treatment. Similarly, medications such as SSRIs have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD in some individuals.

It’s important to note that not all treatments work for everyone, and some individuals may require a combination of therapies to manage their symptoms effectively. Additionally, the success rate of treatment may depend on factors such as the duration and severity of symptoms and the presence of other mental health conditions.

How a Lawyer Can Help
  • Assist with any paperwork needed for filing a claim
  • Identify possible liable parties
  • Guide the client through the legal process for financial recovery
  • Obtain a damages award to help with treatments/therapy not covered by insurance

Contact PTSD Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you know is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s important to seek professional help to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses individual needs and goals. With the right treatment and support, many veterans and nonveterans with PTSD are able to successfully manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

If the barrier to PTSD treatment is financial, and your condition is the result of someone else’s negligence, a lawsuit could help you access care. Whether your PTSD resulted from a car or truck accident, a workplace injury, or a form of abuse, you may be entitled to compensation.

Reach out to the Brain Injury Law Center online or by calling (757) 244-7000 for a free, confidential consultation. Encourage friends and family to protect their mental health by utilizing any available treatment for PTSD — especially service members who are far more likely to experience traumatic events than most U.S. civilians, and who have the resources available with the right support.

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