SARASOTA (WWSB) -As we honor our nation’s veterans, it’s important to remember that for many the battle continues. And even though they no longer live in a war zone, a great number of them suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
PTSD can present itself in a number of ways. The victim can go through mood swings, or maybe they're easily startled. They can also actually believe they are reliving the event that caused the PTSD.
Right now, local veterans organizations are searching for a cure.
Veteran Brian Jacobs is one of the many veterans that suffer from PTSD. Jacobs said he has anxiety, hypersensitivity, and mood swings. And while he has received assistance, he said not every member of the military feels comfortable reaching out for help.
"You don't know what to think of the atrocities you've seen and to say that you've been affected by them can really affect your military career and this is why we have so many veterans who are getting out who haven't been able to deal with their emotions when they're in because it's highly looked negatively upon," said Jacobs.
He said it can be hard for vets to find people to talk to.
"A lot of our friends that we've tried to really develop don't have the ability to handle what we have to say. So it's kind of a piece that we become like a bottle that's going to explode sometimes. And when we do it's not necessarily the greatest way to do it but we don't know how to handle the emotions that come with trying to keep pushing down the pain," Jacobs said.
Roskamp Institute President and CEO Fiona Crawford who studies PTSD said it's a growing epidemic.
“This is an increasing problem. We’re creating a bigger patient population through the ongoing war and these situations,” Crawford said.
And because there are no physical tests for PTSD, Crawford said it can be hard to diagnose.
“There may be genetic risk factors, there may be certain resilience factors being suggested for folks and folks seem to have exactly the same exposures and one will develop PTSD and other will not.And we really haven’t gotten to the bottom of that yet,” said Crawford.
But Jacobs said it's important for vets going through this situation to find a new outlet.
“Seek those things where you can find that same sense of support, comradery, organization, and purpose to serve again,” said Jacobs.
Crawford said the institute is still looking for solutions to cure PTSD, but at this time there’s no evidence that says one particular treatment is better than any other.