Definition of PTSI/PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) is a mental health issue categorized as an anxiety disorder induced by exposure to a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster. In previous wars the symptoms now associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) were known as "shell shock" or "battle fatigue."

The American Psychiatric Association did not recognize PTSD as a separate mental health issue until 1980. PTSI has replaced Post Traumatic PTSD in treatment because it sometimes discourages veterans from seeking care, from revealing their condition because of the stigma of a 'disorder.'

Criteria for a PTSI/PTSD Diagnosis

1.  A person must experience a traumatic event involving death or serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others and react to the trauma with intense horror, fear, or helplessness.  

2. The person must also develop symptoms that cause clinically significant distress or impairment lasting for more than one month.

3. Those symptoms must be from each of the following three symptom clusters:

Re-experiencing the traumatic event, such as having recurring and distressing recollections or nightmares;

Avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, such as thoughts, feelings, and conversations, and diminished responsiveness and loss of interest in activities;

Hyper-arousal, such as irritability, anger, hyper-vigilance, insomnia, or difficulty with concentration

Crisis Management

If you are having an emergency crisis, call 911 and ask for a Crisis Intervention Team officer (or any officer). Warrior2Citizen does not handle emergency crises.  Do you have a plan in place for what to do if a crisis occurs? The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recommends the following:   

1. Prepare a crisis file in advance of a crisis.

2. Keep a record of treatments, medicines and doses in the file.

3. Keep a record of doctor and case manager contact info in the file.

4. Keep your Dept. of Mental Health website and number, a 24/7 crisis service number and a mobile crisis team number in the file.

5. Keep a copy of important papers in the file: conservatorship, advanced psychiatric directives, HIPAA release of info to a family member.

6. Educate yourself by taking a NAMI peer-to-peer or family-to-family course.

Who Can Help?

Help is available from many sources, often at no charge.  Don't wait if you or someone you know needs help.  Call the Veteran's Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and PRESS 1.  You can also have a confidential chat online at , or checkout the list of websites above left. Contact your local state mental or behavioral health agency for a directory of local mental/behavioral clinical therapist, social workers or psychiatrists.