PTSD Awareness: Know the Facts and Myths
What do you know about Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder?
June is PTSD awareness month, so now is the perfect time to take a minute and learn a few myths and facts to help you better understand this condition.
Myth – PTSD primarily impacts combat veterans.
Fact – While combat vets are vulnerable to PTSD, PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that may emerge after any type of extreme trauma. Rape and other forms of sexual abuse are the traumas most often linked to the diagnosis of PTSD. Some other types of trauma that are linked to PTSD are childhood abuse and neglect, domestic violence, assault, racism, auto accidents, medical trauma, and natural disasters such as earthquakes or fires.
Myth – PTSD is rare.
Fact – The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reports that about 8 million people suffer from PTSD in any given year. Approximately 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lifetime.
Myth – The main symptom of PTSD is flashbacks to the traumatic experiences.
Fact– PTSD may involve flashbacks, but other symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, nightmares, insomnia, depression, worry, agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, and guilt maybe more prominent.
Myth – PTSD is “all in your head”.
Fact – PTSD often involves physical symptoms such as chest pain, headaches, dizziness and rapid heartrate.
Myth – PTSD is easy to spot.
Fact – Symptoms of PTSD often mimic other conditions. People with PTSD can be misdiagnosed with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and other mood disorders.
Myth – If you have PTSD now, you will always have it.
Fact – While we do not have a specific “cure” for PTSD, there are several effective treatments. Some people will be able to eliminate their symptoms completely. Others who are diagnosed with PTSD may see symptoms come and go over their lifetime.
Thank you for taking the time to learn a few things about this common mental health issue. If you have experienced a trauma or suspect that you may be suffering from PTSD, please contact me. I have many years of experience working with trauma survivors and would be honored to help you begin your journey towards healing.