PTSD Awareness Month

Devastating Effects of PTSD 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be devastating. You’re flooded with flashbacks, nightmares and persistent memories from a terrifying event or experience. It may feel like those intrusive thoughts will never go away, and there is no way out, but there is help. You can seek treatment from a mental health counselor, who may prescribe medication, and you can join support groups specific to the type of trauma you went through.

Violent Times 

In this age of frequent school shootings and terror attacks, anxiety is on the rise. Victims and witnesses of violence can suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the same as soldiers exposed to horrors on the battlefield. Even police officers exposed to child abuse cases can suffer from PTSD as well as rescue workers during natural disasters. 

When children experience trauma, parents should encourage them to express their thoughts. Explain to them that it’s okay to not feel happy all the time. Establishing a daily routine can help children stay grounded. Family members can also help by encouraging them to take part in fun recreational activities and hobbies. 

Women Twice as Likely as Men to Get PTSD 

The American Psychiatric Association finds 3.5% of adults in America suffer from PTSD, and an estimated one in eleven people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. In fact, women are twice as likely to men to have it. Sometimes, PTSD symptoms are delayed and happen months after the trigger event. Symptoms include intrusive thoughts, self harm, irritability and anger outbursts, depression and panic attacks. You may notice a personality change and a lack of interest in being social. PTSD victims can also start taking drugs and trying other risky behaviors. 

Get Help Now, Don’t Wait! 

If you’re blaming yourself for the trauma, you can talk with a counselor about who’s really responsible, so you can move past the trauma. Understand that things were beyond your control. You can write it all down so you can further examine what happened during the scary event and since then. Find new ways to deal with the shock and emotions so you can come to terms with what happened. Breathing techniques can also help ease anxiety. 

PTSD Awareness Day is observed on June 27th, the birthday of Staff Sergeant Joe Biel of North Dakota. The day was designated to bring awareness to the disorder and in honor of the sergeant, whom friends say committed suicide as a consequence of serving two tours in Iraq. 

Me Too Movement 

Many studies have found a link between sex harrassment and PTSD symptoms and experiencing the trauma repeatedly. The Me Too Movement has shined a light on sex harassment and rape. A 2009 study in the journal Law and Human Behavior found female military members, who are sexually harassed, are up to four times more likely to develop PTSD as women exposed to trauma in combat. For those in other employment settings, a hostile work environment can contribute to negative feelings of desperation and loss of control. 

Sex harassment victims may want to also avoid people who remind them of the harassment, but can’t, because they have to work with them. Try to avoid reminders of the trauma like the people, places, activities, objects and certain situations. The Institute of Women’s Policy Research says a sex assault victim’s cognitions have a dramatic effect on the onset, severity and progress of PTSD. The effects can last for many years after the harassment. 

PTSD Treatment Options 

According to WebMD, the three main components of therapy for PTSD is improving your symptoms, learning skills to deal with PTSD and working to restore your self-esteem. At Johnson Medical Associates, we offer hyperbaric oxygen treatments to treat PTSD. In fact, Dr. Alfred Johnson has treated veterans who have returned from Iraq. The National Library of Medicine says a number of studies show HBOT has led to the recovery of metabolic brain tissues. It helps improve cognitive functioning and helps with relaxation, relieving stress. Meanwhile the Suicide Crisis Hotline is a resource for those suffering from PTSD and contemplating suicide. There is no judgement. The phone number is (800) 273-8255.