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Treating & Healing Trauma: June is PTSD Awareness Month
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In order to bring greater awareness to the issue of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), June has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month. I have created a series of posts on the topic of Trauma and PTSD, which I will be sharing throughout the month of June. Please sign up to receive alerts when each is posted.

Trauma and PTSD

I kicked off my PTSD series on Memorial Day, with this post, explaining what exactly is Trauma and PTSD. This series is a small way to create awareness regarding the many women and men who return from combat with invisible wounds, the wounds of trauma.

Did you know: Women are approximately 2x as likely to meet criteria for PTSD than men, and also approximately 4x as likely to have more chronic iterations of PTSD! 

Both women and men are at risk of enduring unfathomable trauma, but it's important to emphasize gender differences here, with the hopes that they can ultimately be a much-needed catalyst for improved preventative measures, diagnosis, and treatment. 

Click to Read my latest PTSD and Gender Post 

Trauma is one of the most sensitive issues I will ever speak about. In my writing, I want to make information as accurate and accessible as always, but to go to the nth degree to create a sensitivity and respect of all those who have been affected by trauma of any kind; for those who have, and continue to, suffer. My hope is that by creating awareness, I can increase health-care utilization and that more people are able to reach out for help.

As a clinical health and neuropsychologist, I am witness to those suffering from trauma on a daily basis. Trauma is a broad term, and according to the American Psychological Association (APA), it is an emotional response to a terrible event. 

Unfortunately, the said terrible event can constitute a plethora of possibilities, including combat, rape, natural disasters, and assaults. There are other potentially traumatic events, and though less talked about, are no less palpable. These can include illness, intrapsychic identity struggles and others’ responses to these struggles, divorce, constant relocation as a child. 

Ultimately, any event might be considered traumatic if you have experienced and/or witnessed a threat to your life, body, and/or moral integrity and/or witnessed or experienced a close encounter with violence or death.

PTSD IS AN ACTUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER.  It is a SEVERE reaction to trauma, and it is most powerfully characterized by THREE prominent symptoms, which include:
  1. RE-EXPERIENCING THE EVENT
  2. AVOIDING ANY REMINDERS OF EVENT OR FEELING EMOTIONALLY NUMB
  3. HYPERAROUSAL, WHICH CONSISTS OF A SENSITIVE STARTLE RESPONSE

I explain these symptoms in much more depth in my Trauma and PTSD post. 

My PTSD series will include the following posts: 

  • May 25: Trauma and PTSD - Read Now
  • June 1: PTSD and Gender - Read Now
  • June 3: PTSD and Relationships 
  • June 8: PTSD and Chronic Pain
  • June 15: PTSD and Heart Health
  • June 22: PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • June 29: PTSD and Treatment
Sign up to receive alerts about when each new post is published in the PTSD Series.

As always, this is a stigma-free, nonjudgmental, open community. Your comments regarding intellectual, theoretical, and, of course, personal accounts of trauma are cared for here. We’d love to hear from you.

Let’s Thrive,

Dr. Jen


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“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” - Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral's Kiss
 
PTSD Resources for Vets
Trauma Resources
“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.” Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery
National Institue of Mental Health-Coping with traumatic events
 
Women’s Health Matters: online resources for survivors of trauma
“Some people's lives seem to flow in a narrative; mine had many stops and starts. That's what trauma does. It interrupts the plot. You can't process it because it doesn't fit with what came before or what comes afterwards.” Jessica Sterna Lecturer in Public Policy and a faculty affiliate of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affair
 
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