June is PTSD Awareness Month
In 2014, the United States Senate designated the month of June as PTSD Awareness Month. During the month, various events around the country are held by mental health organizations and healthcare officials to educate the public on post traumatic stress disorder and its impact on sufferers. The goal is to encourage people who have the disorder to seek treatment.
What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health disorder that develops after someone witnesses a life-threatening event. Most people associate PTSD with veterans who have been in combat, but others can develop it. For instance, people who are in car accidents or the victims of sexual assault have experienced PTSD.
Following a traumatic event, it is normal to experience stress, but PTSD is more severe. The symptoms can last longer than a few months and impact a sufferer’s ability to function. It can take time for the disorder to develop. Some people might not experience it immediately following the event. Others can have symptoms that seem to come and go over an extended period of time.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD can have an impact on anyone regardless of age, gender, and race. The symptoms can also vary from person to person. There are some key symptoms to look for though if you suspect your loved one has PTSD please have them seek treatment. One of the most commonly experienced is that a person might express more negative beliefs or feelings following a traumatic event. In addition to this, a sufferer might also:
- Relive traumatic events through bad dreams
- Seem jittery or nervous
- Have unexplained anger or startle easily
- Avoid situations or places that are related to the traumatic event
- Behavior changes that interfere with a person’s ability to work and interact with friends and family
Even if you or your loved ones have not been impacted by PTSD, you can help to raise awareness. Contact a mental health organization in your community to learn more about spreading awareness and helping others receive treatment.