Created in the early 1990s, TRICARE is the U.S. Department of Defense's health care entitlement for active duty, Guard and Reserve and retired members of the military, and their eligible family members and survivors.
As a major component of the Military Health System, the TRICARE health program combines the health care resources at military hospitals and clinics (or direct care) with networks of civilian health care professionals, institutions, pharmacies and suppliers to provide access to high-quality health care services while maintaining the capability to support military operations. TRICARE receives its funding as part of the annual federal defense budget, which is approved by Congress and signed by the President of the United States. For more information regarding the Department of Defense TRICARE Health Care Program, visit www.TRICARE.mil.
UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans administers the TRICARE program in the 21-state West Region under contract with the DoD.
Crisis Connections: When you experience a crisis, help is just a phone call away. You can reach someone at these resources 7-days a week, 24-hours a day.
If you have seen or lived through a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death, you may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Veterans returning home from war often have PTSD. It can also follow other events such as an assault, domestic abuse, rape, terrorism, or natural disasters such as a flood or fire. Individuals who are "first responders" may also experience symptoms of PTSD.
Anyone can get PTSD at any age, but not everyone who goes through a dangerous event will develop PTSD. In fact, most will not.
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Re-experiencing - experiencing flashbacks, bad dreams, or frightening thoughts
- Avoidance - staying away from reminders of the experience; feeling emotionally numb; feeling guilt, depression, or worry; losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable
- Hyperarousal - being easily startled, feeling tense, having angry outbursts, having trouble sleeping
Children with PTSD may react differently than adults. Their symptoms might include bed-wetting, forgetting how to talk, acting out the scary event during playtime, or being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult.
Therapy and medications may be used to treat PTSD. One type of therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), may be particularly helpful. It includes "exposure therapy" and "desensitization" to help people remember and address the traumatic event in a safe and controlled manner. In time, memories become less frightening. Other treatments include medicines that work on the nervous system to reduce anxiety and other symptoms of PTSD. Support groups can also be helpful.
For More Information
To learn more, access these resources:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Center
- National Center for PTSD
- PTSD and Trauma Help Guide
- Where to Get Help for PTSD
- U.S. National Library of Medicine (accessed Jan. 23, 2013)
- National Institute of Mental Health (accessed Jan. 23, 2013)