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June is PTSD Awareness Month

What is PTSD? 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)  may impact those that have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.  This may include “natural disasters, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury”.   There are various forms of PTSD.  The American Psychiatric Association explains those that have PTSD may experience “intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings” that are related to the event long after the event had ended.  Individuals may experience flashbacks, nightmares, or experience feelings of fear, anger or sadness.  They may detach, avoid or  isolate themselves.

Some statistics from the American Psychiatric Association regarding PTSD:

  • PTSD can occur in all people at any age regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or culture

  • Approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults are impacted yearly by PTSD

  • One in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime

  • Women are twice as likely to have PTSD than men

How can our body hold trauma? 

Bessel Van Der Kolk writes in The Body Keeps Score, our bodies may hold trauma by being stuck in a state of anger and fear.  Van Der Kolk writes,  “When people are chronically angry or scared, muscle tension ultimately leads to spasms, back pain, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and other forms of chronic pain.”  

 

PTSD can affect those impacted in many ways. 

In a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders by Science Direct, PTSD accounts for 0•6% of suicides in men and 3•5% in women with up to 54% of suicides in people with PTSD are attributable to PTSD (pp 609-616).  While that study was conducted in Sweden, according to the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Report, suicides in U.S. adults have increased from 29,580 in 2001 to 45,861 in 2019. 

 

“As difficult as life can be, it is not difficulty, or the trials, or even the moments when we feel so overwhelmed that we can’t see a way forward that defeat us.  The thing that defeats us, that makes us throw in the towel and decide we don’t’ want to go on, is a loss of hope.”

                                                                                                                                                                      - Chad Robichaux, The Truth About PTSd

 

 

 

Just a Few Resources for PTSD: 

Veterans: 

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts please seek immediate medical assistance.