June is PTSD Awareness Month — Understanding and Caring
PTSD is not the person refusing to let go of the past, but the past refusing to let go of the person. – Dr. James Zender
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, currently about 8 million people in the United States suffer from PTSD¹. June is PTSD awareness month. What is PTSD? How is PTSD treated? And how can we, as individuals, reach out to help those with PTSD?
What is PTSD?
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.¹ While it is normal to feel bad after a traumatic event, a person with PTSD suffers long-lasting, disturbing effects from the event.
How is PTSD treated?
Treating PTSD can involve therapy and/or drug treatment. According to According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, trauma-focused Psychotherapies are the most highly recommended type of treatment for PTSD². “Trauma-focused” means that the treatment focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning. These treatments use different techniques to help process traumatic experience. Some involve visualizing, talking, or thinking about the traumatic memory. Others focus on changing unhelpful beliefs about the trauma. Drug treatment with anti-depressants can ease the sufferer’s symptoms.
How can we help those who suffer from PTSD?
According to Mayo Clinic, the following can be helpful: Be willing to listen to your loved one if they want to talk about how they are feeling. But, don’t push if they express that they don’t want to talk. Also, recognize when the conversation might become too intense and take a break, promising to talk again later.³
So let’s reach out with understanding and caring to PTSD sufferers and their families not only this month, but in the months to come.
The information offered here is not medical advice and is not intended to replace guidance offered by your medical professionals.
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