Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a familiar term, but a commonly misunderstood one. And most Americans probably don’t know how widespread it is — there are currently an estimated 8 million people in the United States suffered from PTSD, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. That means you probably know someone suffering from it, and you may not even know it.
June is PTSD Awareness Month, and the topic has never been more relevant for our Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Veterans, retirees, and their families.
Even today, PTSD has many myths accompanying it — like you’re weak if you suffer from it, or you’re dangerous and could snap at any moment, or that there’s nothing you can do about it and you’re doomed to suffer for life. And it’s misconceptions like these that make it so important to raise awareness of PTSD.
According to the VA, PTSD treatments work, but most people who have PTSD aren’t seeking the help that’s ready and waiting for them. It doesn’t matter if you’ve suffered from trauma stemming from combat, sexual assault, natural disasters, or anything else — help is available.
If you or a loved one are battling PTSD and want to know what resources are available, here are a few of them provided by the VA:
Get Help in a Crisis
Numbers for emergency resources such as the
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) and Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255, press 1).
Find a Therapist
Suggestions for finding a therapist, counselor, or mental health care provider who can help your recovery.
Help for Veterans
Resources to help you find treatment within VA.
Help for Family and Friends
Resources to help you take care of yourself while supporting someone with PTSD.
You can also find Self-Help and Coping tools to help you manage stress reactions, regardless of whether or not you have PTSD.
MAIN PHOTO: PENSACOLA, Fla. (April 15, 2019) Lt. Charles Knight, an occupational therapist at Naval Hospital Pensacola (NHP), works with a patient to improve fine motor skills in his hand, April 15, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brannon Deugan/Released)