June is PTSD Awareness Month!
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats on a person's life. Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid trauma-related cues, alterations in how a person thinks and feels, and increased fight or flight responses. These symptoms last for over a month after the event.
Those with PTSD are at a higher risk of suicide and substance abuse. Most people who experience a traumatic event will have reactions that may include shock, anger, nervousness, fear, and even guilt. These reactions are common, and for most people, they go away over time. For a person with PTSD, however, these feelings continue and even increase, becoming so strong that they keep the person from living a normal life. People with PTSD cannot function as well as before the event occurred and it often takes a large toll on their loved-ones.
There are treatments for PTSD, such as talk therapy and medication. Untreated PTSD is very dangerous. If you think that you or a loved one may be suffering from PTSD, see a professional about assessing your situation. Treatment can be very effective in reducing symptoms over time.
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