Last week, we introduced a Mental Health Awareness Month initiative to help break the stigma related to mental health, especially as it relates to security clearances. For week 2 of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re focusing on an often-stigmatized mental health disorder that impacts millions of Americans, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD can impact anyone. Individuals who are involved in a traumatic event often experience a range of reactions. Though many people naturally recover from initial symptoms, others continue to experience problems over time, even when they are no longer in danger.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD happens to those who have experienced shocking or dangerous events and have trouble recovering from the trauma.
About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will have PTSD at some point in their lives. Considering this ratio, it’s important to remember that not everyone will develop PTSD, but you may know someone who does. Your awareness is vital to help those around you who struggle with PTSD.
10 Facts you probably didn’t know about PTSD:
- Symptoms usually begin early on but can appear years after the traumatic event
- Women are at higher risk of developing PTSD
- One cannot just “get over” PTSD
- Symptoms are not always obvious
- Therapy can be enough to recover
- There are different types of flashbacks
- Exercise helps!
- Not everyone has the same trauma threshold
- Children can develop it too
- PTSD is a growing epidemic
If the following indicators last longer than a month and are severe enough to interfere with relationships or work, they may be considered PTSD.
- Can include flashbacks, bad dreams, frightening thoughts
- Avoiding places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience.
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event.
- Being easily startled or feeling on edge
- Having difficulty sleeping or having angry outbursts
- Trouble remember key features of the event
- Negative changes in thoughts, feelings, or perceptions about oneself or the world
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
Sources and resources:
- PTSD Statistics and Facts:
How can I help?
If you, or someone you know, are experiencing signs and symptoms of PTSD, reach out to a mental health provider who is experienced with treating PTSD.
Be aware that receiving treatment for PTSD may not impact your security clearance.
Questions, comments or feedback:
Please reach out to HR or Security with any questions or feedback on this initiative.