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PTSD Awareness Month: Everything You Need to Know
PTSD Awareness Month: Everything You Need to Know
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a psychological condition that affects many men and women in the aftermath of traumatic experiences. Thousands of Veterans have this condition as a result of combat experiences, military sexual trauma, and other life-altering circumstances and experiences that soldiers may endure.
If you have PTSD, your ability to function in work, relationships, and everyday life can be significantly affected. The primary symptoms of PTSD can be divided into four main categories — avoidance, reliving, negative thoughts and feelings, and arousal.
- Many people living with PTSD display avoidant behavior. Anything that reminds someone with PTSD of their traumatic experience can be extremely triggering, often causing a downward spiral into panic and anxiety. To avoid these feelings, people with PTSD will often attempt to avoid people, places, and circumstances that bring back traumatic memories.
- People with PTSD often also may find themselves reliving their trauma. Flashbacks and nightmares are common symptoms of PTSD, and these symptoms can be extremely disturbing and debilitating. Someone with PTSD may also struggle with insomnia, primarily due to the disturbing nature of the nightmares they may regularly experience. Many people with PTSD deal with vivid, recurring nightmares that center on their traumatic experiences.
- Many people with PTSD often deal with negative thoughts and feelings, which can greatly impact their emotional health and well-being. Many people with PTSD may feel a sense of guilt or responsibility for their trauma. This symptom of PTSD is especially common in victims of sexual assault or abuse.
- Another common symptom of PTSD is arousal, a feeling of constantly being anxious or on edge. Many sufferers of PTSD frequently deal with persistent anxiety without a clear cause. This anxiety is often caused by hypervigilance and hyperarousal that stem from traumatic experiences.
For many Veterans, the symptoms of PTSD can be crippling. Because PTSD is such a common condition among Veterans, it’s important to stay informed about how the disorder affects those who suffer from it. It’s also essential to be compassionate and empathetic towards people with PTSD, coming alongside those who have dealt with the long-term impact of trauma and providing them with encouragement and support.
June 2021: PTSD Awareness Month
This year, the month of June is dedicated to raising awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD awareness month is a time for learning more about the impact of PTSD, fighting to end the stigma surrounding victims of trauma, and making treatment and accommodation more readily available to those who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Throughout June, there are several ways that you can work to educate yourself and raise awareness for PTSD. The disorder is often underreported, underdiagnosed, and tragically ignored, but you can make a difference in your community by participating in the movement to raise PTSD awareness. Your efforts for the sake of people with PTSD don’t have to end at the end of the month, either — you can make supporting those who have post-traumatic stress disorder and raising awareness for the condition a lifelong practice.
Raise Awareness Through Social Media
You can start PTSD awareness month by pledging to inform others about the disorder through social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and other social media platforms are all perfect places to raise PTSD awareness. You can share information with your friends and followers to increase their understanding of the impact of PTSD, the statistics on how many people suffer from it, and how it can be treated.
You can make a major positive impact by sharing information about PTSD on social media. You never know who you might reach via the internet – maybe someone will see your post who is struggling with the impact of a traumatic experience themselves. Many people suffer from symptoms of PTSD but do not realize that they have a diagnosable, treatable condition. By raising awareness on social media, you may be the first exposure that your followers ever get to the reality of PTSD. The information that you share can truly be life-changing.
Social media platforms are also some of the best possible platforms for raising awareness of the prevalence of PTSD. Many people do not realize how common the disorder is or how diverse its causes can be. Millions of men and women, including a large number of Veterans, suffer from PTSD due to different types of traumatic experiences.
Many sufferers of PTSD feel intense shame in relation to their trauma, and they may avoid seeking treatment or talking to others about their painful experiences. These silent sufferers of PTSD are tragically common, and for many people, all that is needed to feel comfortable with opening up about traumatic experiences is a safe, accepting environment. Make your social media presence a force for good by informing others that people living with PTSD have nothing to be ashamed of.
End The Stigma
Many of the sufferers of PTSD, male and female, are victims of sexual abuse or assault. Sexual trauma can have extremely damaging long-term effects, and many victims of assault and abuse can spend decades in mental anguish in the aftermath of their trauma. PTSD caused by sexual trauma often goes undiagnosed because of the toxic stigma that many assault and abuse victims are subjected to. Victims of sexual trauma often feel so much shame, fear of judgment or invalidation, and even guilt that they may not admit what they have been through or seek treatment.
By helping to raise awareness for PTSD, you can help end the stigma that continues to prevent survivors of sexual trauma from getting the help they need.
Sometimes, all it takes is one validating, accepting person to make someone feel comfortable enough to talk about their traumatic experiences. Many survivors of assault and abuse feel alone, and many more are afraid that the people around them will not listen if they open up about their trauma. Take PTSD awareness month as an opportunity to become a person who others can feel safe around and confide in. By working to end the stigma surrounding PTSD, you can change lives.
Raise Awareness For Disabled Veterans With PTSD
PTSD is an extremely common condition among Veterans. Soldiers on active duty can endure many traumatic experiences and events, and a soldier’s time in the military can psychologically affect them for life. Many Veterans develop PTSD as a result of combat experiences, military sexual trauma, or as a result of the intense stress of military service.
Many Veterans are left severely disabled by their PTSD. The disorder can make it difficult for many Veterans to find jobs, leaving sufferers of PTSD in financial distress and unable to support themselves or their families. However, many Veterans who have service-connected PTSD do not know that their disability can qualify them for monthly benefits from the VA.
The tax-free compensation offered to Veterans with service-connected PTSD can be life-changing. If a Veteran is left severely disabled by the long-term effects of their trauma, they may not be able to work – but the VA’s monthly disability benefits can allow a Veteran to remain financially stable even if they are unable to work.
You can use social media, face-to-face conversations, and other means of communication to raise awareness of the disability benefits that Veterans with PTSD can receive. Since PTSD is so common among Veterans, you are highly likely to know someone who served in the military and suffers from the condition. This person may not realize that they can receive potentially life-changing compensation to help them get the treatment they need and support themselves and their families. You can be the one to let them know that they deserve to receive benefits that can help them on their path to recovery.
Raising PTSD Awareness Is A Lifelong Practice
While PTSD awareness month is only 30 days, you can commit to raising awareness for the condition for your entire life. PTSD often tragically goes unnoticed and untreated, and many of the sufferers of the condition feel alone, isolated, and ashamed. Speaking out about the reality and prevalence of PTSD can help others understand the condition, working to end the stigma that makes people with PTSD feel so much shame.
If you have PTSD, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Fear of being judged or disbelieved should not stop you from getting the validation, support, and treatment you need. It is not your fault if you have been through a traumatic experience.
You can get help for PTSD from a mental health professional or, if you are a Veteran, by visiting your local VA office. If you need assistance getting VA disability compensation for your PTSD, contact Berry Law.
Established in 1965 by Vietnam War veteran and attorney John Stevens Berry Sr., Berry Law Firm is a team of veterans dedicated to defending, safeguarding, and fighting to protect the rights of veterans. Over the decades, thousands of veterans from across the country and all branches of the military have trusted our firm with their cases and, more importantly, their futures.