In honor of June being Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, we wanted to take this opportunity to educate our clients on the importance of early detection of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
For some, being diagnosed with a mental illness is considered abnormal or taboo, especially in the veteran community. Where you served can affect your PTSD risk; According to VA.gov, about 15% of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) have PTSD. Similarly, 12% who served in the Gulf War and 15% who served in Vietnam have PTSD.
It’s crucial to detect if you have early warning signs of PTSD to minimize exposure to long-term illnesses such as substance abuse, high blood pressure, chronic pain and insomnia. PTSD commonly occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. This can also include secondary or vicarious traumatic experiences or events by being exposed to horrific deals. The individual may have difficulty recovering for months or years without proper treatment.
Unfortunately, many veterans struggle to readapt to civilian life and lack knowledge about rehabilitation resources that can help their mental wellness. Many veterans will go years without realizing they have PTSD, often reporting they are ashamed to admit their feelings in fear of being seen as weak.
The earlier you can catch it, the more effective treatment may be. Without proper treatment, you may not be your happiest self. Below are some early warning signs to look out for to determine if you or a loved one might need a professional mental health evaluation for PTSD.
Keep in mind, experiencing symptoms might not predict a mental health condition. However, if you are experiencing a few symptoms that are inhibiting your daily activities, we encourage you to set up an appointment with us, call 911 or go to your nearest hospital’s Emergency Department.
- Overly anxious or worried
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
- Feelings of guilt or loneliness
- Emotional detachment or unwanted thoughts
At JRM&A we lead with compassionate, trauma-informed therapeutic models that are personalized and solution-focused therapy to help support our clients’ needs and attain their personal goals. Our therapists specialize in trauma including military and veterans psychology and are well-versed in assisting various mental health conditions, especially trauma-related.
Many military and veterans suffer from PTSD and it is important to understand the warning signs so you can treat resulting addictions or mental health problems. We want to de-stigmatize mental illnesses and the stereotypes that come with reporting symptoms or diagnosing. We aim to normalize reporting PTSD symptoms in the veteran community by shedding light on the prevalence of it and debunking its association with weakness.
The more we spread awareness about PTSD symptoms, the faster people will be able to identify and seek treatment. For more information about PTSD, ask your medical provider or go to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). If you are a veteran in crisis, call the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255 and select 1.