PTSD is a mental health disorder that can cause hypervigilance, insomnia, panic attacks, flashbacks, and nightmares. It is often misunderstood and underrepresented. This article talks about PTSD, how common it is, and why this awareness month is important.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops as a result of trauma. PTSD is commonly associated with veterans who have experienced trauma from military combat, but this disorder is a lot more common than you may realize. PTSD can result from any form of trauma, such as
Experiencing natural disasters
Secondary exposure to the trauma of others
PTSD can be debilitating if it is not treated, affecting your relationships and quality of life.
PTSD is fairly common, but not everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD. It depends on your support after experiencing trauma and if you were able to properly process the traumatic events. In the United States, it is estimatedthat 3.6% of adults had PTSD in the last year.
The Symptoms of PTSD
There are many different symptoms of PTSD that can impact sleep, behavior, mood, and overall mental health. Some symptoms are a lot more obvious on the outside, but determining how PTSD can feel on the inside can be difficult.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
Nightmares related to trauma
Guilt about trauma
Loss of interest in activities
PTSD Awareness Month
PTSD Awareness Month takes place in June. The purpose of this awareness month is to provide education regarding the effects of PTSD and how to get the necessary help. This awareness month can also help you (if you have this anxiety disorder) to fight the stigma that can keep you from seeking help or being understood. If you have undiagnosed PTSD, you might not know how treatment can help you and that you can live a better life after treatment, despite the trauma you experienced.
How You Can Spread Awareness
Contact a Local Government Official
A great way to help the community is to contact local government officials and ask them to declare June as PTSD Awareness Month. This can help bring awareness to the community overall. You can contact your mayor, governor, or other local government official and ask them to help you draw awareness. You can write them a letter, call them, or send them an email. A great way to get them involved is by sharing your story about how PTSD has affected you or your loved one and what actions they could take to improve PTSD support in your community.
Share PTSD Resources on Social Media
Social media does not just need to be about liking pictures and posting about your day. Social media can also be a great way to connect to friends and family. On social media, you can share resources for friends and family about PTSD, its symptoms, and how someone can get help.
Many people are talking openly about mental health on social media and using their platforms to spread awareness. You can share these resources, as well as show your support by changing your profile picture in honor of PTSD. If you have PTSD, you can also share your experiences. Sharing personal experiences can humanize this disorder and help others recognize that they aren’t alone in their struggles.
Celebrate PTSD Screening Day
June 27th marks PTSD Screening Day. On this day, you can share resources about PTSD and encourage friends and families to get screened for PTSD by their healthcare providers – or get screened, yourself. Getting screened for PTSD could make a major difference for you if you do not understand your behaviors after trauma, or are not aware that your experience was traumatic for you.
Learn More About PTSD
You can never learn too much about PTSD. Learning about PTSD can help you understand yourself and others affected by PTSD. There is plenty to learn about this disorder and the many ways it can affect people. It is also important to learn how PTSD affects people who are different from you. Those from marginalized communities can experience PTSD from oppression and hatred. Those who are not well off can experience PTSD from the realities of poverty.
Unlearn PTSD Stigmas
Even if you are an advocate for PTSD or are someone with PTSD, it is still possible to have internalized stigmas against those with this disorder. A lot of education comes from media depictions, as well as conversations that you have with one another. The media does not portray PTSD in the best light. How the media presents PTSD can be dehumanizing, limited, and one-sided. It often does not cover the entire scope of this disorder.
As a result, you might still have incorrect opinions and views about PTSD. During this awareness month, incorporate unlearning these stigmas into your education. Unlearning these stigmas can help you become a better advocate, as well as help you better understand yourself beyond incorrect information you have heard in the media.
Register for a Virtual Walk for PTSD
There are not any official walks being held for PTSD, however, you can register for a virtual walk through the VA's website. This virtual walk can help you promote PTSD awareness and even raise money for a PTSD awareness organization. If you are interested in starting a PTSD virtual walk, or would like to donate to any PTSD awareness organizations, you can find all of the information on the VA's website
PTSD affects more people than you might realize. If you have PTSD or have a loved one with PTSD, make an effort to learn more about this anxiety disorder this month. The more we know about PTSD, the more we can understand and help people who deal with it every day.
If you are dealing with symptoms of PTSD, you aren't alone, and there is help available. Chateau Recovery helps those with PTSD heal from their past trauma. We believe that those who have experienced trauma in the past deserve a life without anxieties and terrible memories holding them back.
If you would like to learn more about PTSD and how we treat it, call us today at (435) 222-5225. Our treatment center focuses on the whole person, with our staff trained in trauma support. Help is just one call away. Don't hesitate to start your new life.