Everyone goes through frightening experiences at some point or another. You may feel sad, anxious, terrified, or depressed by the ordeal for some time and then find the strength to move forward. This is the experience for most people. Others feel unable to cope with the event and find that they are seriously affected in their everyday lives for days, weeks, or months. When this occurs, the person may have PTSD. Although PTSD is a serious condition, there is hope for coping with and treating it. This PTSD Awareness Month, you can become more aware of the disorder and learn how to spot it. Over time, you can gain the tools you need to move on from the trauma you’ve gone through and help your loved ones do the same.
PTSD or Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder caused by a distressing situation, event, or experience. A person may witness the event or go through it themselves. Some people who have traumatic experiences can cope and heal with time, especially with the assistance of a trained mental health professional. However, when someone cannot move past the event, or it becomes difficult to get through the day, they may have PTSD.
In the past, PTSD was a condition experienced mostly by soldiers and other war veterans. Now, it’s clear that anyone can develop it at any age or life stage. Genetics may make someone more likely to develop PTSD as well. About 7 or 8 people out of every 100 will experience symptoms of PTSD at some time during their life.
Not everyone who goes through something traumatic will get PTSD because of it. The reality is that most people will be able to cope and move forward with time. Those who seek support from friends and family, see a therapist, and have positive coping strategies are more likely to recover faster.
PTSD can be caused by a wide variety of events and experiences. Two people who go through the same situation can still react differently. One could develop PTSD, while the other may not. Some different potential causes of PTSD could include:
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As previously stated, just because someone experiences one of the events above does not mean they will necessarily develop PTSD. However, these are some of the most common causes that can contribute to the development of the condition. If you go through one of these events, seek help right away to lower your risk of PTSD.
June is PTSD Awareness Month. More specifically, June 27 is National PTSD Awareness Day. Around 8 million people in the United States are currently living with PTSD. Even though treatments available for the condition can have promising results, many people still don’t seek the help they need. PTSD Awareness Month provides an ample opportunity to spread the word about the signs of PTSD and, more importantly, where to go if you or a loved one may have it. When more people know the treatment options that are available to them, they have a better chance of receiving support and care.
You can recognize PTSD Awareness Month by sharing information about the disorder, helping those close to you who live with it and encouraging people to seek help if they have symptoms of PTSD. You can pledge to raise awareness, joining in with millions of other people with similar goals and commitments. If you feel you have PTSD, you might consider taking a self-screen test and then reaching out to a professional depending on the results.
The symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person. However, some of the most common signs and symptoms are:
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If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s vital to reach out to mental health professional. Only they can give you an accurate diagnosis and provide you with the best next steps. Having some of these symptoms does not necessarily mean someone has PTSD; they could have an entirely different disorder. Be careful not to diagnose yourself or someone else without speaking to a medical professional.
To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, you must speak with a medical provider. They will perform a physical exam to rule out any potential health issues causing the symptoms. Then, they will do a psychological evaluation and ask you questions about your past and symptoms. They may want to know more about the specific event that could have caused your distress. Using the DSM-5, they will assess your symptoms and evaluate whether or not you meet the criteria for PTSD. In people over six years of age, these criteria include:
It may take some time before someone develops PTSD. In some cases, it occurs right after the traumatic experience. Since everyone will have a different timeline and experience, it’s important to involve professionals from the beginning.
Luckily, PTSD is a treatable condition. At the very least, those who develop it can learn new coping skills to live a happier, healthier life despite the disorder. Some common treatment options that have shown promise for millions of people are:
Recovering from PTSD is not impossible. Many resources exist to help you recover from the events that caused your PTSD. Something different will work for everyone, so it’s essential to find the best treatment plan for your situation. Sometimes that means trying different therapy methods, switching therapists, or giving a new type of medication a chance. Recovery is possible with the right support, mindset, and endurance. Remember that you are never alone.
Besides medication and therapy, you can also take care of your health in these ways:
Your overall well-being is dependent on a variety of factors. By being proactive, you can stay ahead of your health and potentially prevent problems from ever arising.
You can support someone with PTSD while also maintaining your health and well-being. Although you may not understand the condition or what the person is going through, you can still take certain steps to offer them support. Above all, you can ensure they know they’re not alone and that you will be there for them. Here are some tips for helping someone in your life who has PTSD:
While supporting someone with PTSD is a noble cause, you don’t want to neglect yourself in the process. Remember that you cannot help others if you don’t first help yourself. Make sure to take care of your own needs and have people you can lean on for support. You are an important part of your loved one’s life, and they will need you as they recover from PTSD. It may be a long, difficult journey to recovery, but you can help make a difference in their life.
Are you looking for extra support? Online therapy through BetterHelp may be able to make a difference in your life or that of a loved one. BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that matches you with a qualified mental health professional. Whether you’re facing PTSD or some other condition, a therapist may be able to help get you to a better place. One study found that internet-based therapy can have long-lasting positive effects on those living with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. Internet-based therapy proved effective for many people and could be worth trying no matter what you might be going through.
Once you sign up on BetterHelp, you’ll be matched with a therapist with whom you can speak throughout the week. Pick up your cell phone, laptop, tablet, or device to start. You can talk through a chat feature, phone call, or video conference; the choice is yours. Many individuals prefer BetterHelp because of its simplicity, privacy, and ease of use. It is also a great option for anyone with a busy schedule or someone who hasn’t had luck with traditional therapy in the past. Reach out today to begin your journey with BetterHelp. With time, you can hope to see positive results in multiple areas of your life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is There An Awareness Day For PTSD?
Yes, June 27 is National PTSD Awareness Day. It is a chance for people to learn more about the disorder and recognize that millions of people around the globe experience it daily. Becoming more aware of PTSD can also help eliminate the stigma associated with mental health disorders and encourage people to seek help sooner. Many people struggle with PTSD in silence due to shame, embarrassment, or lack of resources. PTSD Awareness Day seeks to eliminate these barriers to support and care. Learning about PTSD can help you spot it in yourself and others. If you suspect that you or a loved one has PTSD, you must reach out for help.
Why Is It Important To Raise Awareness About PTSD?
Awareness is important because it leads to empathy, compassion, and care. When you encounter someone with PTSD and know about the condition, you can approach them with more empathy and less judgment. In addition, the more people are familiar with PTSD, and the more likely they are to help others receive care for the condition. When people are unfamiliar with certain mental illnesses, they may not be able to sense when something is wrong. As a result, there may be more of a delay in getting the necessary support for themselves or a loved one. For many reasons, the more awareness there is of PTSD, the better.
Can A Person Be Cured Of PTSD?
Similar to most other mental illnesses, there is no cure for PTSD, but there are plenty of treatment options that can reduce symptoms. A combination of therapy and medication is often used to control the disorder and get the person back to functioning normally. So, while it may not be curable, it is treatable. People with PTSD can still live happy, healthy lives with the right treatment.