Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS)

Post-Traumatic Stress

Post-Traumatic Stress occurs after and individual has seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved injury, the threat of injury or death. Post-Traumatic Stress is experienced by some, but not all student veterans and service members. It is beneficial to have some knowledge of Post-Traumatic Stress and its symptoms but not to expect that every student Veteran will display them. Although many student Veterans may have stressful or traumatic experiences not all develop Post-Traumatic Stress.  

Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms:

  • Repeated reliving; of the event which disturbs day-to-day activity
    • Flashback episodes where the event seems to be happening again and again
  • Avoidance/NumbingAvoiding people and places that remind you of a trauma.
    • Emotional numbing or feeling as though you do not care about anything
  • Hyper arousalExcessive awareness (hyper-vigilance).
    • Feeling keyed up, irritable or angry and constantly on guard. Difficulty concentrating and falling/staying asleep.

Post-Traumatic Stress in the Classroom

Student Veterans may:

  • Sit in the back of the classroom so they can have a clear view of everything around them
  • Be withdrawn from class discussion Be easily startled by noises (pens dropping, shuffling in a backpack, laser pointers, whispering or other noises from classmates)
  • Have difficulty maintaining emotional control during difficult topics