On June 27, we talk about PTSD, a complex disorder caused by experiencing or witnessing trauma. The trauma necessary to cause PTSD can originate from many events — potentially an accident, combat, a natural disaster, or an assault.
The National Center for PTSD declared all of June to be PTSD Awareness Month — you can help their campaign by educating yourself and others about the illness and sharing help with those who might need it. Click here for more details and the history behind the month.
5 IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT PTSD
- PTSD is widespread. While 3.5% of adult Americans struggling with PTSD may seem like a small percentage, that’s actually 8 million people.
- It affects women more than men. 10% of women and only 4% of men are likely to develop PTSD, which makes it over twice as likely for women to develop the illness.
- PTSD is widespread in veterans. Of those who served in the Vietnam War, an estimated 30% have had PTSD in their lifetimes. 12% of Gulf War Veterans have PTSD, and between 11-20% of veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD.
- Children can get PTSD. It appears that children can develop PTSD symptoms, albeit differently from adults. Research is very new and there is much more to be known about the subject.
- PTSD in literature: Some of our earliest PTSD knowledge comes from literature, including Shakespeare and Dickens. They wrote about traumatic experiences, and the symptoms they described aligned with what we now call PTSD.
As we celebrate Independence Day, remember that it is important to be sensitive to those who have PTSD and get triggered by fireworks. If you know someone like that, think before you light fireworks around them. We always talk about protecting our animals from the loud bangs on the 4th. Let’s not forget to consider our neighbors and loved ones.
To learn more about PTSD, its symptoms, and treatments, click here.