Post traumatic stress disorder is commonly misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. It is a severe anxiety disorder that occurs after witnessing a traumatic event. The public is becoming increasingly aware of the nonphysical trauma suffered by our servicemembers. There are other subpopulations of society equally affected by PTSD: those involved in natural disasters, fires, prisons, terrorist attacks. Many children and adults experience PTSD after being victims of abuse and rape.
Huffington Post (via USC School of Social Work) had a great infographic on PTSD in honor of today (I’m a sucker for infographics!):
10 ways your community can help those suffering from PTSD:
- Understand that anyone can experience trauma, such as accidents, assault, war, or disasters.
- Think broadly. When trauma happens, the survivor’s family, friends, coworkers, and community are affected.
- Learn about common reactions to trauma and readjustment to life outside a war zone.
- Be aware of where get help for trauma survivors, Veterans, and people with PTSD.
- Expand your understanding of how PTSD is identified and treated.
- Know that treatment for PTSD works.
- Ask a Veteran or trauma survivor if talking would help, but do not push if someone is not ready to discuss things.
- Realize that stigma is a barrier to getting treatment. Getting people to talk or seek help is not always easy. Your encouragement matters.
- Know the facts. More than half of US adults will experience trauma in their lifetime. About 7% of adults will deal with PTSD at some point. For Veterans and male and female sexual assault survivors, the figure is higher.
- Connect with self-help resources, apps, and videos about PTSD.
Useful PTSD Links:
National PTSD Awareness Day Resources: Camp Pendleton
PubMed’s PTSD page: NIH