Approximately 12 million U.S. adults have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during a given year, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. PTSD Awareness Month is in June, and it’s the perfect time to help spread awareness about this serious mental health condition. PTSD treatment centers can help those who are suffering from PTSD symptoms. Call Promises Behavioral Health today at 844.875.5609 to learn more about PTSD Awareness Month or find treatment.
PTSD and Trauma Awareness
At one time, PTSD was viewed as a disorder that affected only those who fought in wars, but today, experts understand that anyone who has experienced or witnessed extremely frightening conditions, repeated violence, or a medical emergency can develop PTSD. Even people who have heard about life-threatening circumstances secondhand and those who have lost a loved one can have post-traumatic stress disorder.
One thing everyone can do to help increase PTSD awareness is to expand their understanding of trauma.
Trauma is defined as an emotional response to a distressing event or series of distressing events. Two people can experience the same event, such as being in a car accident, and only one of them may be traumatized by the experience or go on to develop PTSD.
In addition to experiencing a triggering event, the risk factors for PTSD include:
- Experiencing trauma previously, even if it is unrelated to the triggering event
- Life stressors
- Pre-existing mental health concerns
- Neurological differences
- Amount/quality of support a person receives after the event
Societal factors also play an important role. If a person does not have access to safe support resources due to poverty, geography, or cultural beliefs, they may be less able to cope with their strong emotional reactions.
Know the Warning Signs of PTSD
Recognizing the signs of PTSD is another important way to increase PTSD awareness. It is easy to dismiss the symptoms of trauma as over-reactions or efforts to get attention. You may wonder why a person can’t just “get over it,” but remember that reactions to trauma are not 100% in an individual’s control.
PTSD symptoms to watch for include:
- Recurrent memories of the triggering event
- Reliving the trauma – Flashbacks, talking about it, obsessive behaviors
- Nightmares, upsetting dreams
- Avoiding people, places, or activities related to the event
- Feeling hopeless about the future
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- Emotionally numb
- Trouble remembering or concentrating
- Easily startled
- Trouble sleeping
- Anger, aggression
- Self-destructive behaviors
Left untreated, PTSD can lead to severe depression and cause suicidal thoughts. If you or someone you know is talking or thinking about suicide, get help immediately. Contact a mental health professional, a trusted friend, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Ways to Spread PTSD Awareness
To start, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD. You’ll find resources to help veterans and learn more about PTSD and its long-term effects. You can help spread the word by:
- Sharing official PTSD Awareness Month materials on your social media
- Download the PTSD Awareness Month calendar
- Host a virtual awareness event
- Contact your local city and county representatives and encourage them to organize PTSD awareness events
- Support efforts to help those with mental health disorders in your community
- Learn to recognize the symptoms of PTSD
Ending the stigmas around PTSD and other mental health disorders may be the most powerful thing anyone can do to help increase PTSD awareness. If you have PTSD or know someone who does, don’t suffer in silence. Get the help you need. Share your experience with others, and let people know their lives can be better with the right treatment and support.
Learn More About PTSD and Trauma Awareness at Promises Behavioral Health
If you have questions about PTSD or concerns for your mental health or that of a loved one, call Promises Behavioral Health at 844.875.5609. We offer a comprehensive treatment program for PTSD that can help you recover from trauma and get your life back again.