According to the PTSD Alliance, over 7,000,000 people in the United States suffer from PTSD, or Posttraumatic stress disorder. June 27 is National PTSD Awareness Day, and is a day to shed light on the realities of living with PTSD. Sufferers need to know they do not suffer alone, and are not hopeless.
PTSD develops in response to traumatic or threatening experiences such as war, sexual assault, accidents and disasters. PTSD Alliance notes that it can cause both emotional and physical symptoms.
Emotional: anxiety, anger, depression, irritability, sadness
Physical: tiredness, increased perspiration, high or low blood pressure, trouble digesting food
PTSD Alliance cites that The National Center for PTSD calculates “roughly 5% of men and 10% of women living in the United States will develop PTSD at some point during their lifetime.”
Symptoms of PTSD can occur soon after a trauma, but may also take months or even years to manifest.
One of the worst myths about PTSD is that it is mental weakness and that those affected should “just get over it.” While some people might be able to easily work through and find peace from their traumatic experiences, this is not the case for everyone and shouldn’t be an expectation. Everyone responds differently to stress and trauma, therefore everyone heals differently from their stress and trauma.
Today, there are many options for moving forward from PTSD. PTSD Alliance lays out two routes, Psychotherapy and Medication, very clearly on their website for easy understanding of treatment options.
When should you see a medical professional for a PTSD diagnosis? A good rule is when anything is disrupting your normal, daily tasks, you may want to seek help. PTSD Alliance cites a “cluster” of symptoms that will be present for over one month that can lead to a PTSD diagnosis: “recreating the traumatic event over and over; avoiding triggering people, places, or activities; and hyper-vigilance for danger. These symptoms should cause significant problems in everyday life.”
Want to learn more? In addition to the links within this blog post, you can visit these resources down below: