Did you know according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 8 million people in the United States are now living with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD? The trouble is, most of them do not get help even though available treatment does work. Each year, the month of June is designated as a time to raise public awareness about PTSD and to let those who are suffering know that they do not have to do so.
We know you may have questions. If you are helping a loved one face this issue, we want you to know you are not alone. Let us take the time on our blog to share what all Americans need to know about PTSD.
First and foremost, what is PTSD? PTSD is a treatable mental health issue.
Secondly, no one who has gone through or witnessed significant trauma is immune from PTSD. It can surface in men, women, boys, girls, and teens. Having said that, there are several factors that may make it more likely someone will have PTSD. These can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The duration,
- Intensity and type of trauma, and
- Whether it involved physical injury.
People who have seen or been through horrific events, such as combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault may develop this disorder. They may be more likely to do so if they have been through trauma before, or if they do not have any support after a traumatic event. Their age and gender may also influence whether or not they get PTSD.
It is critical to learn how to recognize the signs. Symptoms of PTSD may be chronic or intermittent, but usually linger for more than a few months after a traumatic event. They generally include:
- The overwhelming feeling that the world is unsafe
- Feeling on edge
- Having flashbacks or other unpleasant memories
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Avoiding activities or events that may remind you of the trauma
The good news for people diagnosed with PTSD is that it can be treated. One option is talk therapy, or more specifically, trauma-focused psychotherapy. This type of therapy includes several different approaches. The three most widely recognized each involve 60 to 90 minute sessions over three to four months. The goal is for the patient to learn specific skills to help manage their symptoms.
Medication is another option. In particular, experts note that some medications used to treat anxiety and depression are also beneficial in the treatment of PTSD.
Remember, if you are caring for someone with PTSD, it is important that you look after yourself, as well. Even if your loved one is getting treatment and getting better, you may still feel overwhelmed. Please remember that you are not alone. You can find a list of resources here.
In the meantime, we are also here to provide any legal support that you may need if you or your loved one developed PTSD after experiencing a harrowing event. Specifically, we may be able to help if you were wrongly accused of a crime, the victim of a crime, sex trafficking, or if you were seriously hurt in an accident where someone else was at fault. Please call our law firm to speak with us at your earliest convenience and schedule a free case evaluation.