Wabanaki Public Health marks PTSD Awareness Month each June to bring attention to post-traumatic stress and effective treatments.
Post-traumatic stress is a mental health issues that can occur after someone has been exposed to a single traumatic event or multiple traumatic events, such as sexual or physical assault, natural or man-made disaster, and war-related combat stress. It affects people of all ages – men, women and children.
After a traumatic event, most people have painful memories. For many people, the effects of the event fade over time. But for others, the memories, thoughts and feelings don’t go away – even months or years after the event is over. Mental health experts are not sure why some people develop post-traumatic stress and others do not.
If stress reactions do not improve over time and they disrupt everyday life, it is important to seek help to determine if post-traumatic stress is present.
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Persistent intrusive thoughts and distressing dreams about the traumatic event
- Triggered emotional responses to reminders of the trauma
- Efforts to avoid thinking or talking about the trauma
- Persistent hypervigilance for cues that indicate additional danger or trauma re-occurring
Effective psychological interventions and drug treatments are available to assist those who are living with PTSD to heal from their traumas and to lead healthy, productive lives.
To bring greater awareness to the issue of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the United States Senate designated June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. In addition, June has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month by the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD).
To learn more about post-traumatic stress, visit your health center or see the National Center for PTSD, including this information about understanding post-traumatic stress.
Sources: National Child Traumatic Stress Network and National Center for PTSD.