There is one thing that we must be clear on before we start talking about PTSD tests. There are many different types of PTSD. Five, to be exact: normal stress response, acute stress disorder, uncomplicated, comorbid, and complex. The two most prevalent forms are comorbid PTSD and complex PTSD. While comorbid PTSD and complex PTSD are related, there is a clear difference between the two.
Comorbid PTSD is much more common than uncomplicated PTSD. Comorbid means that the PTSD is “paired with” another psychiatric disorder. This includes depression, alcohol or substance abuse, panic disorder, and other anxiety disorders.
In contrast, ‘complex PTSD’ develops through a repeated series of traumatic events. Thus, when considering a PTSD test, make sure it tests across all five categories.
The top three PTSD tests we’ve found
Caveat: The PTSD tests below are not designed to provide a comprehensive assessment or diagnosis. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can provide a complete assessment and diagnosis of PTSD, as they are able to differentiate symptoms of PTSD from other serious medical conditions. Regardless, these PTSD tests are a critical first step in recognizing PTSD and getting the help you need.
PTSD Test Number One: Anxiety and Depression Association Of America
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America is a great resource. Veterans can access the ADAA outside of “official” military channels. This is especially helpful due to the number of military medical branches who try and prove that veterans are “faking it.” Read more about this below.
The PTSD test offered by the ADAA is a straightforward True or False style examination that you print out and take to your preferred medical provider. Additionally, if you want to stay completely out of military channels, you can use the ADAA’s “find a therapist” search engine.
PTSD Test Number Two: Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs has come a long way since 2012. Furthermore, the VA is trying hard to remedy the mistakes made in the wake of the downfall of the Madigan Screening Process.
In particular, one such change was the creation of a new PTSD Screening Platform. You can find it on the My HealthEvet website. It’s a simple 17 question, PTSD test that screens you for possible PTSD symptoms. This is the first step in getting the help you need.
PTSD Test Number Three: PTSD Foundation of America
The PTSD Foundation of America is a non-profit, dedicated to combating post-traumatic stress. Also dedicated to mentoring combat veterans and their families with post-traumatic stress. As we know, many warriors are coming home with visible wounds. Conversely, countless veterans are coming home with scars we cannot see; wounded souls crushed by the horrors of war over and over again.
The PTSD Foundation of America offers a self-assessment PTSD test. Additionally, they offer the resources you need to get better. From outreach programs to warrior support groups, this organization has the resources to help. They even offer a radio program dedicated to helping families.
The mission of Warrior’s Shield Radio is to reach out to our Military and Veteran community. The goal is to help Veterans and their families from a faith-based perspective, with practical advice. We understand that when a person serves in the military, their family serves along with them.
During our radio program, we discuss how families can cope with military service. As well as how we can reintegrate our service members back into civilian life. Moreover, we discuss how to find a job, PTSD, and other military issues.
One Veteran’s Opinion: PTSD Tests, Post Traumatic Stress, And Getting Help
Precise statistics on the prevalence of PTSD in OEF/OIF veterans are not available. Because neither the Department of Defense nor the VA have standards to accurately diagnose or track PTSD in veterans.
Current studies estimate that PTSD among returning veterans ranges anywhere from 15% to 50%. Hence, no one knows for sure. Why? Because for years, military hospitals and treatment centers focused more so on disproving claims.
For years many military hospitals followed the Madigan Army Medical Center’s screening process. Part of this process was taking written exams. These written PTSD tests were focused on trying to prove that a veteran was malingering.
According to a report in the Seattle Times, “Madigan medical team members cited studies that said fabricated PTSD symptoms were a significant — and often undetected — phenomenon.”
They offered tests as an objective way to help identify “PTSD stimulators.”
One of these PTSD tests was the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test. This test consisted of more than 500 true-or-false questions. (Today’s PTSD tests are usually less than 20.) The purpose of these “tests”? To deny benefits. Especially among patients under consideration for a medical retirement. Why?
Because a medical retirement offers a pension amongst other benefits. In fact, team leader Dr. William Keppler said, “PTSD diagnosis could cost as much as $1.5 million over the lifetime of a soldier.” He then urged his staff to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
According to a report by the Seattle Times, written tests were often part of the Madigan process . A process that overturned the more than 300 PTSD diagnoses during a five-year period.
Madigan supporters, including Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, dubbed the conservative approach a “best practice”. Horoho was a former commander who served as the Army’s surgeon general.
But thankfully, amid patient protests, the government shut the Madigan team down. Furthermore, the Army launched several investigations.
So the opinion of this Navy Chief ITC (EXW/SW/AW) with five combat deployments is this:
Symptoms of PTSD can go months or even years without manifesting. Sometimes it just starts with a lack of sleep. Other times it’s a dam that bursts open. I have seen some of the bravest men I know cower in a corner, unable to function or even speak.
Consequently, many of our warriors are scared to admit they might have a problem. Brave men and women alike, think they can “handle it.” But PTSD is a cruel mistress.
That’s why it’s so important for ALL veterans to take a self-assessment PTSD test. Especially considering how many of us have had multiple deployments.
Just because you don’t think you have PTSD, doesn’t mean that you don’t. Take a PTSD Test screening exam. Talk to a professional and get the help–and benefits–you’re entitled to.
And if the VA denied your claim, seek help from outside of the “official” channels. Then go back and refile, using the documentation of your civilian care provider to back up your claim. Don’t take no for an answer.
Fair winds and following seas. And to my Marine Brothers… Semper Fi.