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June is PTSD Awareness Month

NCPTSD-Aware2014_FBIn 2010, Congress named June 27th PTSD Awareness Day. Since then, the month of June has been dedicated as a time to help raise awareness about PTSD. Today, we’d like to share a bit of information about PTSD and how to get help.

What is PTSD?

According to the National Center for PTSD, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, hear about, or that happens to you, like:

  • Combat exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attack
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, like a car wreck
  • Natural disasters, like a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake

Does everyone who goes through trauma have PTSD?

Some people experience stress and anxiety after a traumatic event; however, not everyone develops PTSD. If your feelings do not go away after time and they begin to disrupt your life, you may be suffering from PTSD.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

There are four main symptoms of PTSD:

  1. Reliving the event – Memories of the traumatic event can occur at anytime. Many times you will experience nightmares or a feeling like you are reliving the event (this is called a flashback). You may hear, smell or see something that makes you think of the event (these are called triggers).
  2. Avoidance – Another symptom of PTSD is avoiding situations or people that remind you of the trauma. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  3. Negative mindset – The way that you think about yourself or others may change because of the trauma that you’ve experienced. For example, you may think the world is a dangerous place or you might avoid relationships or you may not have positive feelings towards others in general.
  4. Hyper arousal – Feelings of being on edge, feeling jittery, having trouble concentrating and sleeping are also signs of PTSD.

Where can you get help?

If your symptoms have been lasting for quite a while (longer than three months), if the memories cause you distress, and/or if feelings of anxiety, guilt, or depression are disrupting your life, then it’s time to get professional help from a counselor and/or doctor.

Our team of counselors and psychiatrists at Horizon Health Services has helped both men and women with PTSD recover. We also have experience with PTSD and co-occurring addictions to alcohol and/or drugs. If you or someone you know needs help coping with a traumatic event, we are here to help.

And as a special service to our Veterans, Horizon has an inpatient rehab facility, Freedom Village, located in Sanborn, NY.

For more information, visit our website or call admissions at (716) 831-1800.


Sources:
http://www.ptsd.va.gov/about/ptsd-awareness/ptsd_awareness_month.asp
http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/symptoms_of_ptsd.asp