Overwhelming trauma can have destructive, lasting effects on those experiencing it. People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have ongoing frightening memories of a traumatic event—often with the same degree of anxiety as during the event itself. They often remain tense and anxious, and may startle easily.
- PTSD is common. According to the National Center for PTSD, between 7 and 8 percent of the population will experience PTSD during their lifetime.
- The causes are diverse. Traumatic events triggering PTSD can include violent personal assaults, military combat, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, terrorist incidents or a loved one’s sudden death.
- Showing sensitivity helps. If you’re aware of someone suffering with PTSD, strive to understand their experiences and day-to-day realities. PTSD is treatable, but not everyone seeks treatment.
- Treatment works. A combination of counseling, medication and ongoing support can help people regain their health and full functioning.
This month, Stamp Out Stigma recognizes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness. Seventy percent of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives, with up to 20% of these go on to develop PTSD. With your help, we can bring awareness to the prevalence of PTSD and other mental health conditions in our communities. It’s our job to help end the stigma surrounding addictions and mental health by sharing resources and starting conversations. Throughout the month of June, we encourage family, friends, and loved ones to learn more about PTSD mental health. Here are some important facts you should know:
- 8% of Americans−24.4 million people−have PTSD at any given time.
- Approximately 5% of service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have PTSD or depression.
- An estimated 1% of U.S. adults had any anxiety disorder in the past year.
Help is available! Visit the Mind Your Mental Health website or contact your program to learn more about how to help yourself or someone you care about.