Your Military Defender Blog



Whether in the courtroom or at an administrative hearing, advocates need to know all about their clients’ PTSD.  Here are two useful checklists.

 We also recommend an amazing book, a novel about World War I by Anne Perry.  It deals with a British chaplain who endures much ‘shell shock’.   Find writing and  effective psychological insights, wrapped into a good story.

While you were the military, were you ever treated for PTSD?. Have you ever been treated for the symptoms of this condition in civilian life?

This questionnaire is in two parts.  We encourage you to work Part I next under.  Then, turn to Part II  and comment on anything that applies to you


.  Think about what PTSD looks like — see if any of the following applies to you.  If they do, tell me about them—

  1. Repeated and disturbing memories or thoughts

  1. Bad  dreams.

  1. Suddenly feeling as if the stressful military experience was happening all over again

  1. Feeling upset because something reminds you of the stressful Gulf War experience.

  1. Physical reactions such as heart pounding, trouble breathing or sweating when something reminds you of the Gulf War

  1. Avoiding activities or situations because they remind you of the war

  1. Trouble remembering important parts of that military experience.

  1. Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy.

  1. Feeling distant or put off from other people.

  1. Feeling emotionally numb or being unable to display your feelings for those close to you.

 11.  Feeling that your future will somehow be cut short.

  1. Trouble falling asleep.

  1. Irritation.

  1. Angry outbursts.

  1. Difficulty concentrating.

  1. Being super vigilant or watchful.

  1. Feeling that you have to be on guard.

  1. Feeling jumpy.

  1. Easily startled.

  1. Wanting to sit in a public place with your back to the wall so you can be safe

  1. Being troubled by 4thof July firecrackers or sudden noises of planes going overhead

  1. Difficulty driving a car, especially at night or when you see a strange unknown object on the side of the road.

  1. Seeing people in Middle Eastern garb and becoming apprehensive.

24.   Remembering incoming mortars and the constant fear

25. Experience that your heart is beating heavily for what seems like yours

26. A desire for the chaos and disorder of the war zone all over again.

27. attending various counseling sessions with others who  feel the same way.

28.  Great changes in weight

29. Changes in things you used to care for and do not at the present time.



Here is another approach to look at matters—this time, in terms of the physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual aspects of PTSD.   Some of these matters may repeat items listed above.  Please consider whether the following apply to you, and tell me about anything we did not handle above in Part One. :


  1. Tense muscles/stiffness
  2. Problems eating
  3. Problems sleeping
  4. Chronic fatigue
  5. Sexual dysfunction
  6. Tremors/jitters
  7. Headaches or  backaches
  8. Diarrhea or constipation
  9. Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  10. Weight gain or loss
  11. Skin breakouts (hives, eczema)
  12. Frequent colds
  13. Nausea, dizziness




  1. Memory problems
  2. Indecisiveness
  3. Inability to concentrate
  4. Trouble thinking clearly
  5. Poor judgment
  6. Seeing only the negative
  7. Anxious or racing thoughts
  8. Constant worrying
  9. Loss of objectivity
  10. Fearful anticipation


  1. Anxiety
  2. Mood swings
  3. Irritability
  4. Worry
  5. Nightmares
  6. Reactions to loud noises
  7. Moodiness
  8. Agitation
  9. Impatience
  10. Inability to relax
  11. Feeling tense and “on edge”
  12. Feeling overwhelmed
  13. Sense of loneliness and isolation
  14. Depression or general unhappiness


  1. Impulsive / addictive behavior
  2. Frequent accidents or mistakes
  3. Decreased attention span
  4. Forgetfulness
  5. Isolation
  6. Lack of commitment to work or school
  7. Eating more or less
  8. Sleeping too much or too little
  9. Isolating yourself from others
  10. Procrastination, neglecting responsibilities
  11. Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  12. Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
  13. Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  14. Overdoing activities (e.g. exercising, shopping)
  15. Overreacting to unexpected problems
  16. Picking fights with others


  1. Doubt, loss of faith or trust
  2. Anger towards God
  3. Hopelessness
  4. Cynicism
  5. Martyrdom and a loss of direction
  6. Inability to forgive
  7. Increased or transformed faith-life
  8. Changes in your meaning of life

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