Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is as common as it is misunderstood. For these reasons and more, Congress has set aside June 27 of each year as PTSD Awareness Day. This provides an invaluable opportunity to stop and reflect on this mental health disorder—to promote knowledge and to raise the bar of conversation.
PTSD is, true to its name, a disorder that rises from trauma. All of us have tough or even harrowing experiences in our lives, and sometimes the painful memories of these traumas can linger. Those who develop PTSD do not just have bad memories, although they have intrusive and unwanted memories, nightmares and flashbacks that can be uncontrollable, even debilitating.
Those who struggle with PTSD can experience other symptoms and side effects too—including emotional numbness or a complete inability to talk about the traumatic event in question. Crucially, the symptoms of PTSD can arrive at any time—immediately after the trauma is experienced, in some cases, but in other cases months or years after the fact.
PTSD is perhaps most commonly associated with military service. Those who experience live combat can certainly sustain traumas they carry with them for a lifetime. Trauma may also result from other incidents—natural disasters, physical attacks, rape, or abuse. Men and women alike can struggle with PTSD.
Even more troublingly, PTSD can sometimes be accompanied by other, co-occurring mental health conditions. Individuals experiencing symptoms of PTSD may also develop a co-occurring substance use disorder, as they reach for drugs or alcohol to help soothe their traumatic memories.
The good news in all of this is that there is hope for those who struggle with symptoms of PTSD. Recovery is possible through treatment. That’s the main thing we want to raise awareness for: Those who are battling with trauma can find the relief they need at WestBridge. Please, if you know anyone you think might have PTSD, encourage them to call WestBridge today.
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