Over 540,000 veterans have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. In 2010, the United States designated June 27 as National PTSD Awareness Day, and the National Center for PTSD made June PTSD Awareness Month. The goal is to raise awareness of PTSD and the effective treatments available for those with PTSD.
Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental health issue that some people develop after experiencing a life-threatening event or extreme trauma. According to the National Center for PTSD, symptoms include reliving the event, avoiding people or situations that trigger memories of the event, more negative beliefs or feelings and hyperarousal. Hyperarousal manifests differently in each person. Some experience jitters or constantly being on alert. Others experience sudden anger or irritability and are easily startled. They make poor health decisions that include drinking, doing drugs or reckless driving.
Other problems associated with PTSD include feelings of hopelessness, shame or despair, depression, anxiety, and employment and relationship problems.
The symptoms of PTSD may seem daunting and endless, but there is help. If you or someone you love is experiencing PTSD, talk to your doctor about possible treatment through different types of talk therapy including prolonged exposure, cognitive processing, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and stress inoculation training. Medications to increase the levels of certain chemicals in your brain to make you feel better are also a treatment option, however, medication alone will not treat PTSD. Medication along with therapy to treat the underlying causes can help treat PTSD.
A diagnosis of PTSD can be hard to come by. Talk to your doctor or visit one of our Intrepid Spirit Centers for help. You can also lend a hand so others can find help by raising awareness about PTSD. Sign the Raise PTSD Awareness Pledge and spread the word.