PTSD … Outside Trauma Turned Inward
July 2007 Online Feature
When people experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it’s as if the traumatic event that happened to them externally is reflected internally, on the inside. PTSD is an anxiety disorder with symptoms that last longer than one month and usually appear within the first three to six months after an extremely distressing event. Examples of traumatic events that could cause PTSD include
Smeone who develops PTSD after a traumatic event like this typically
PTSD is in the news quite a bit these days. It (and other illnesses like depression) is affecting a never-before-seen number of our military who are traumatized by combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Department of Defense Mental Health Task Force said that PTSD is one of the “signature injuries” impacting hundreds of thousands of military that have served at least one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan. Dr. Jeffrey Matloff, a Veterans’ Administration PTSD specialist, says that “Four years into this conflict, I think all of us are overwhelmed by the numbers.”
And it’s not just the military who are returning home with PTSD. The American Foreign Service Association recently told Congress that more than 70 percent of U.S. civilians working in Iraq may also be affected by PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a debilitating illness for anyone who has endured the horrors not just of war but also of abuse, a terrible accident, etc. If you or someone you love might be experiencing PTSD, talk to your doctor, family and friends. Know that there is treatment available. There is hope, help and support to heal the trauma inside.
National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, “National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet,” www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain/ncdocs/fact_shts/fs_faqs_on_ptsd.html
“Pentagon considers sending mental health specialists to Iraq.” www.firstcoastnews.com/news/news-article.aspx?storyid=85251
Salerno, Gina. “Analysis: Stress hits U.S. workers in Iraq.” United Press International. www.upi.com/Security_Terrorism/Analysis/2007/06/25/analysis_stress_hits_us_workers_in_iraq/9422/
Tyson, Ann Scott. “Pentagon report criticizes troops’ mental-health care.” Washington Post, June 16, 2007. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/14/AR2007061401643.html?hpid=sec-nations
Helpful Websites and Resources:
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
DBSA’s Coping with Unexpected Events: Depression and Trauma brochure,
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Previous Monthly Features
January 2007 : Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
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