Jun 22, 2012

June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces June as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month.
According to HHS, it is believed that Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects 1 in every 29 Americans. Those at highest risk for PTSD include our country’s service men and women, abused children and survivors of rape, domestic violence and natural disasters.  HHS is hoping to bring attention to the disorder as well as “recognize the millions of Americans who experience this challenging and debilitating condition.”
PTSD is an anxiety disorder often caused after an individual sees or experiences a threatening or harmful even.  HHS has stated, “PTSD may result in sleep problems, irritability, anger, recurrent dreams about the trauma, intense reactions to reminders of the trauma, disturbances in relationships, and isolation. Some people may recover a few months after the event, but for others it may take years.  For some, PTSD may begin long after the events occur.”
HHS hopes the awareness of June’s PTSD focus will be to inform individuals that PTSD can be treated. Effective treatments are available, such as exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and approved medications.  As a reminder, there is help out there for individuals suffering from PTSD. Those individuals working in the Healthcare Industry should be mindful of the signs of PTSD and direct those who are suffering to services where they can receive the proper care.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is partnering with the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DOD), to develop new research in hopes of revealing the underlying causes of PTSD and related conditions. It is believed that with better tools those who are at highest risk of developing the disorder will have access to new and better treatments and preventive interventions.
The following sites can provide additional information, as well as services available to those with PTSD:
http://store.samhsa.gov/mhlocator (Mental Health Service Locator)
http://www.stopbullying.gov (Bullying and Traumatic Experiences)