PTSD in the Military

  • Andrea PhelpsEmail author
  • Darryl Wade
  • David Forbes
Reference work entry


The experience of military personnel has informed our understanding of the mental health impacts of trauma over the centuries. This chapter provides an overview of the range of potentially traumatic events (PTEs) that military personnel are exposed to and the rates of PTSD across different types of deployment and trauma exposure. The particular association between PTSD and “moral injury” is highlighted. Within the military context, morale, leadership, and unit cohesion have been found to be important predictors of PTSD. These are potentially modifiable factors and, along with advances in resilience training, point to the potential for primary prevention of PTSD. Military organizations around the world are working toward early detection and intervention for mental health problems with widespread use of psychological first aid and routine screening. Through this work, the experience of military personnel is at the core of advances in our understanding of trauma and strategies to mitigate its impact. Finally, this chapter canvasses the unique challenges of managing PTSD in the military context with respect to case identification, the need to understand military cultural, and return to work issues.


PTSD Moral injury Military Prevention Early intervention Treatment 

List of Abbreviations


Australian Defence Force


Cognitive processing therapy


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing


Military sexual trauma


National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study


Prolonged exposure


Potentially traumatic event


Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Phoenix Australia - Centre for Posttraumatic Mental HealthUniversity of MelbourneCarltonAustralia

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