Today is PTSD Awareness Day and we at Still Serving Veterans think that it is crucial to spread the knowledge about PTSD, it’s symptoms, and how to get help.
First off, what is PTSD?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also known as shell shock or combat stress. PTSD occurs after a traumatic event and as we all know war exposes our soldiers to trauma such as being shot at, seeing a friend being shot at, and witnessing death. Stress-related reactions usually occur after such experiences but if the stress does not go away and affects your life it is likely that you have PTSD. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), PTSD affects 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans, 10% of Gulf War Veterans, and a staggering 30% of Vietnam Veterans.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
You may want to consider that you may have PTSD if your stress after a traumatic experience last longer than month, cause distress in your life, and disrupts your personal life. As the VA notes, there are four types of PTSD symptoms:
- Reliving the event
- flashbacks: feeling like you are living the event again
- sights, noises, or smells trigger a flashback
- Avoiding situations that remind you of the event, even avoiding talking or thinking about it
- avoiding crowds
- avoiding movies on the subject
- trying to keep very busy to keep from having to talk or think about the event.
- Feeling numb and the inability to express feelings
- lacking positive feelings toward others and staying away from relationships
- disinterest in activities you used to enjoy
- difficulty facing your emotions
- Feeling jittery or constantly alert
- difficulty sleeping
- trouble concentrating
- easily startled
How do you treat PTSD?
If you feel that you or someone you know has PTSD you should seek a counselor. There are many resources that can help you and there is no need to succumb to this disease. Places like Still Serving Veterans can help and counsel you through this part of your life. There are also many different types of treatment that have proven successful. Below are a few links that could help you figure out what to do and where to go.
Still Serving Veterans:
(or call to make an appointment 256-883-7035)
Information on treatments:
Places you can go:
Read about people who deal with PTSD:
For more web resources:
Acknowledging the possibility that you or someone you know has PTSD could save lives and this is another reason that we at SSV encourage learning and telling others about the disorder. After our Hell and Back Again screening we had a attendee come to the realization that two people they know have PTSD and one of them had committed suicide. Luckily they came to us to seek help for the other Veteran and he is now on his way to recovery – just another reason PTSD is a serious issue and should be brought to the forefront of everyone’s mind.
We are here to help.