Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition where extreme mental and emotional stress continues to occur after an initial injury or psychological event. Most of the time this condition will affect sleep patterns and individuals suffering from the condition will have vivid mental recollections of the experience. Interacting with others in general may be difficult.
While PTSD can affect anyone after a severe trauma, it is commonly experienced by military veterans returning from tours of duty. It can also affect children who come from abusive home situations or adults who experience traumatic injuries. National PTSD Awareness Day was established by the National Child Traumatic Stress Center to bring more awareness of this condition to the general public.
National PTSD Awareness Day occurs on June 27th and the entire month has been established for the education of the public.
For individuals to better understand the psychological impact in those who experience PTSD, it is important to be aware of the condition and know the signs and symptoms.
These may include:
- Overwhelming thoughts or dreams about the precipitating event
- Emotional responses to things that remind the sufferer of the event
- An avoidance of talking about the initial trauma
- Fear that they are still in danger
PTSD can be debilitating and can affect an individual’s ability to interact with others outside their home. Left untreated, post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to issues with self-harm, self-medicating using drugs or alcohol, and suicide.
If you or someone you care about is facing PTSD, it is important to seek help and learn everything possible about the condition and its consequences. Some therapists specialize in treatment for PTSD and can help individuals learn new coping methods. In this way, sufferers may be able to lead more engaged lives. This June, spend some time learning more about PTSD, what you can do about it, and how to help others.
Has your life been affected by PTSD of a close friend or family member?
Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs