Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month (June)
There are approximately 12 million people in the US with PTSD, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD treatments work, but many people struggle to reach out and get the help that they need. PTSD is developed by some people after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event such as assault, a car accident, combat, or a natural disaster (APA, 2022).
The National Center for PTSD indicates that about 6% of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives and nearly 12 million adults in the United States have PTSD in any given year. After a traumatic event, it is normal to have stress reactions which may seem similar to PTSD. If those symptoms persist longer than a few months, a person may need to reach out for support and may have PTSD. PTSD can include nightmares associated with the trauma, avoidance of situations that may remind them of the trauma, heightened reactions, increased anxiety especially in relation to situations that may bring worries of trauma, or depressed mood (National Center for PTSD).
During PTSD awareness month we can help spread the word to raise awareness. All of us play a vital role in addressing the needs of trauma survivors and individuals with PTSD.
While anyone is at risk to develop PTSD there are a few risk factors that may influence the likelihood of a diagnosis. The more exposure to trauma that someone has experienced, the more likely they are going to be more vulnerable to the development of PTSD. Women are more likely than men to develop PTSD according to the National Center for PTSD. Additionally, genes may play a role in the likelihood of a diagnosis as well (National Center for PTSD).
There are also factors that promote resiliency after trauma as well. That can include
· Reaching out for support from others
· Having a support group
· Having positive reflections about your actions in the face of danger
· Healthy and positive coping strategies
· Having connections to therapy and other mental health resources (Nugent, et. Al., 2014).
There are many evidence-based treatments for PTSD including Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
· Prolonged Exposure (PE) is a for of behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy that is specifically designed to treat PTSD. It focuses on imaginal and in vivo exposures (APA, 2017).
· Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a cognitive behavioral therapy that is specifically for PTSD and teaches you how to evaluate and change upsetting thoughts and how you feel (National Center for PTSD).
· Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) involves moving your eyes in a specific way while you process traumatic memories. EDMRs goal is to help you heal from trauma and other life experiences.
If you are searching for a therapist or counselor you can learn more about tips to starting therapy here or use a directory service where you can narrow your search based on types of therapy, insurance, location, etc.. therapy directories to get started can include https://www.therapyden.com/ or mental health match.
If you are interested in connecting directly with Mindful Solutions you can reach out via email (email@example.com), phone (619-353-5139), or book your free 30 minute consultation on our website!
American Psychiatric Association. 2022. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd
Nugent NR, Sumner JA, Amstadter AB. Resilience after trauma: from surviving to thriving. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2014 Oct 1;5. doi: 10.3402/ejpt.v5.25339. PMID: 25317260; PMCID: PMC4185140.
American Psychological Association. 2017. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/prolonged-exposure
Cleveland Clinic. 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22641-emdr-therapy#:~:text=What%20is%20EMDR%20therapy%3F,or%20other%20distressing%20life%20experiences.
*Although I am a therapist by profession, I am not YOUR therapist. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not replace therapy and does not establish any kind of therapist-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information. To see more information about our disclamer(s): https://www.mindfulsolutionscorp.com/disclaimers