Help Raise PTSD Awareness
There are currently about 8 million people in the United States with PTSD.
Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don’t get the help they need. June is PTSD Awareness Month. Help us spread the word that effective PTSD treatments are available. Everyone with PTSD—whether they are Veterans or civilian survivors of sexual assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events—needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
There are 4 types of PTSD symptoms, but they may not be exactly the same for
everyone. Each person experiences symptoms in their own way.
Reliving the event
Unwelcome memories about the trauma can come up at any time. They can
feel very real and scary, as if the event is happening again. This is called a
flashback. You may also have nightmares.
Memories of the trauma can happen because of a trigger — something that
reminds you of the event. For example, seeing a news report about a disaster
may trigger someone who lived through a hurricane. Or hearing a car backfire
might bring back memories of gunfire for a combat Veteran.
Avoiding things that remind you of the event
You may try to avoid certain people or situations that remind you of the event.
For example, someone who was assaulted on the bus might avoid taking
public transportation. Or a combat Veteran may avoid crowded places like
shopping malls because it feels dangerous to be around so many people.
You may also try to stay busy all the time so you don’t have to talk or think
about the event.
Having more negative thoughts and feelings than before
You may feel more negative than you did before the trauma. You might be
sad or numb — and lose interest in things you used to enjoy, like spending
time with friends. You may feel that the world is dangerous and you can’t trust
anyone. It may be hard for you to feel or express happiness, or other positive
emotions. You might also feel guilt or shame about the traumatic event itself. For example, you may wish you had done more to keep it from happening.
Feeling on edge
It’s common to feel jittery or “keyed up” — like it’s hard to relax. This is called
hyperarousal. You might have trouble sleeping or concentrating, or feel like
you’re always on the lookout for danger. You may suddenly get angry and
irritable — and if someone surprises you, you might startle easily.
You may also act in unhealthy ways, like smoking, abusing drugs and alcohol, or driving aggressively.
Why get treatment for PTSD?
There are many treatment options for PTSD.
For many people, these treatments can get rid of symptoms altogether. Others find they have fewer symptoms or feel that their symptoms are less intense.
After treatment, most people feel they have a better quality of life.
Common questions about treatment
Can a therapist really understand what I’ve been through?
Therapists can treat your PTSD whether or not they have been through trauma
themselves. What’s important is that your therapist understands how you think about your experience, so she can teach you the skills you need to manage your symptoms.
Is it ever too late to get treatment for PTSD?
It’s never too late. Treatment can help even if your trauma happened years ago. And treatment for PTSD has gotten much better over the years. If you tried treatment before and you’re still having symptoms, it’s a good idea to try again.
There is a wealth of information available in the booklet that I have linked to below. If you think you may have symptoms of PTSD, there is a questionaire to fill out. Also, a description of what PTSD therapy is and how it can help you manage your stress. Please have a look. Do it today. And remember, you are not alone !