June is National PTSD Awareness Month, and we want to continue spreading knowledge of PTSD, and its effects on both combat veterans and their families.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic stress disorder) is defined by The National Center for PTSD as: a condition that can develop after you have gone through a life-threatening event. If you have PTSD, you may have trouble keeping yourself from thinking over and over about what happened to you. You may try to avoid people and places that remind you of the trauma. You may feel numb. Lastly, if you have PTSD, you might find that you have trouble relaxing. You may startle easily and you may feel on guard most of the time.
It’s common to think and act differently for a few weeks or months after a traumatic event, but if symptoms don’t gradually decrease over time, it’s important to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional.
PTSD is not a sign of weakness – it just happens. There’s no way to know who will develop PTSD after trauma occurs, but we do know it’s more common after certain types of trauma like combat and sexual assault.
If left untreated, PTSD doesn’t usually get better. Some may think they can handle the symptoms, but it can get worse over time. PTSD can lead to depression, sleep deprivation, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and other mental and physical health issues. It directly affects personal relationships – read more on how family members of those with PTSD can suffer from secondary stress and experience similar effects of PTSD.
That being said, PTSD treatment works, and it’s never too late to start. There are many different types of treatment options available these days. The National Center for PTSD offers a PTSD Treatment Decision Aid that may be helpful in understanding some of the most popular options, but ultimately you’ll need to speak with healthcare provider such as your family doctor, or mental health professional. Additionally, there are many alternative therapies that have been shown to help treat PTSD (i.e. yoga, acupuncture, fishing, scuba diving, horseback riding, and so much more).
As always, Combat Veterans to Careers is here to help our local Combat Veterans and their families understand and gain access to these options, and will walk alongside you during this process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Please note: if you are a veteran or family of a veteran and in crisis, please seek help immediately via:
– Calling 911
– Going to the nearest Emergency Room
– Calling the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
– Contacting the Veterans Crisis Line by calling: 1-800-273-8255, press 1
– Contacting the Veterans Crisis Line by Texting to 838255
– Chatting online with Confidential Veterans Chat
- 8 Things to Know About PTSD, National Center for PTSD
- PTSD Treatment Decision Aid, National Center for PTSD
- Do I have PTSD?