June is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness month. (PTSD) can develop after a shocking, dangerous, or scary event. Learn more about the causes, signs, symptoms, and resources
What is PTSD?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in individuals (some) who have experienced a dangerous, shocking, or terrifying event. Individuals with PTSD may experience symptoms such as reliving memories of trauma, nightmares, anxiety, and depression.
Events that have been reported to induce PTSD include accidents, assault, workplace events, serious health problems, childbirth events or experiences, war and more.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms have been cited to occur within 1-3 months of the traumatic event, however they can occur years later. While some individuals can recover within a few months, others may have long standing symptoms which leads PTSD to become chronic. A doctor who has experience helping people with mental illnesses, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can diagnose PTSD.
Common signs and symptoms of PTSD include but are not limited to:
- Re-experiencing and reliving the traumatic event via nightmares and flashbacks
- repetitive and distressing images or sensations
- Avoidance and emotional numbness
- Feeling on edge (Hyperarousal)
- Issues with sleep (Insomnia)
- Irritability and emotional outbursts
Who can diagnose PTSD?
A licensed health care provider such as a psychiatrist or psychologist can determine whether the signs and symptoms meet the criteria for PTSD.
Resources for PTSD SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration)
National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental health disorders.
This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. PTSD Forum link here to discuss its impact in your life or in the person you love.