Happy Summer! It is definitely the time to finally relax in the sun and sit by the pool, and although June is recognized as the beginning of summer, it also happens to be the education month for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD. It does not have to be such a dreaded or stigmatized topic of conversation. Educating yourself on what the certain spotlighted health topic is and how to cope with or support others in their journey is why Health Awareness months are nationally and even globally recognized. For example, one of the focused health matters for June is PTSD, allowing those who experience it to feel less excluded from society and enable others who do not relate to this circumstance to learn more about it and how to support others who do.
PTSD is most commonly developed after an ongoing traumatic experience or one-time traumatic event. It has been predominantly observed in war veterans, but many others can experience this disorder as well. It should be stated that any case and symptoms can depend on the specific person, but some of the more recurring signs of people encountering PTSD include:
- being startled easily
- feeling emotionally numb
- losing interest in their past passions/hobbies
- becoming easily irritated and violent
- avoiding situations that closely resemble the original incident
This is not meant to be a limiting list of signs, but these are just a few to display for education purposes.
If you believe you are experiencing a mental health disorder, the first step to take is to visit your physician. Also, please refer to your medical coverage summaries to see what is covered by your specific health plan or the HR person if your plan is through your employer. If you need diagnosis and treatment, you may find resources on your medical carrier’s wellness website.
To support a friend or loved one with PTSD, please make sure you educate yourself on the topic, be patient with them, listen to them, learn about their own experiences with the disorder when they are comfortable to share and kindly encourage them to seek treatment to cope in a healthy manner.
For further mental health information, you can direct yourself to the National Alliance on Mental Illness and their website: https://nami.org/Home