PTSD Awareness: Understanding Post Traumatic Disorder

June 27 is designated by Congress as PTSD Awareness Day. Declaring a dedicated day is intended to raise the consciousness of PTSD, it’s symptoms, and it’s treatment options.

PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a serious mental health condition that often requires professional evaluation and treatment. It is a trauma-based disorder most often associated with military combat experiences; however, the disorder can affect anyone susceptible to similarly stressful situations.  Estimates of over 50% of men or women in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event serious enough to produce a PTSD response.  These experiences, to name a few, could be traumas such as auto accidents, physical assault or abuse, having a loved one die through suicide or homicide, or local or national tragedies.

Most people experience symptoms of trauma for short periods following the event. Symptoms may include obsessions and intrusive thoughts about the event, nightmares, substance abuse, denial, avoidance of places or things that are reminders of the event, and relationships dysfunction. These will usually process out after a short time; however, if they persist for extended periods or continually resurface, professional intervention should be considered.

Keep in mind that you’re not alone. There are effective treatments that will help you feel better and take back control of your life, even if you have been living with symptoms for years.

More information can be found on the National Center for PTSD website and through the PTSD Awareness resources shared this month on our Facebook page. If you would like to speak with someone about loss and grief, please call Hospice & Community Care at 803-329-1500 to learn about the services available for you.

Frank Grobusky
Veteran Services Coordinator

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