CARROLLTON, Mo- As of 2014, June 27, 2017, is recognized as national PTSD Awareness Day. The month of June is also considered PTSD Awareness month.
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood.
Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder was brought to the public attention through war veterans. As early as the civil war some referred to it as “shell-shock”. The diagnosis became popular following the Vietnam War. But the disorder is not limited to battle-tested servicemen.
The purpose of PTSD Awareness Month/Day is to encourage everyone to raise public awareness of PTSD and effective treatments. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network uses the month to raise awareness about child traumatic stress. PTSD is estimated to affect roughly 8% of Americans at some point in their life whether its men, women, or children.
David Hurtado, a former military member and current PTSD LPC in Leavenworth, Ks., who hosts support groups through the American Legion Hall in Smithville, Mo., says recognizing the symptoms can be a big step towards awareness. “This time of year, especially in the next week, we need to be conscious of people who have experienced combat PTSD and approaching the Fourth of July.
There are four types of PTSD symptoms: reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, negative changes in beliefs and feelings, and hyperarousal.
Stressful reactions to emotional events are normal but experts say the disorder can form if those symptoms continue for over three months, are causing high amounts of stress or are disrupting your life at home and at work.
Multiple resources continue to further the discussion into PTSD and provide outlets for the necessary help. The National Center for PTSD geared towards veterans provides material, tips, and more information to raise awareness.