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June is PTSD Awareness Month

The month of June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) awareness month.  Although this disorder used to be called “shell shock,” as it often affects war veterans, PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event that involved a real or perceived threat of injury or death.  It happens due to a response to chemical and neuronal changes in the brain after exposure to these types of events (Healthline 2019).

PTSD is seen often in Life Care Planning for patients who have experienced a traumatic event such as motor vehicle collision or other traumatizing injuries.  Each individual can experience a different level of intensity of symptoms and needs a different level of treatment; this disorder can severely impact a patient and their family’s life.

PTSD symptoms can be experienced differently from person to person, but generally fall into one of these categories:

Intrusion

  • flashbacks
  • vivid memories of the event
  • nightmares about the event
  • distressing thoughts/feelings

Avoidance

  • avoiding the places, similar situations or people that remind you of the event

Arousal and reactivity

  • difficulty with concentration
  • exaggerated startle response
  • feeling on edge
  • irritability
  • anger

Cognition and mood

  • poor self-worth/negative thoughts
  • distorted feelings of guilt or blame
  • difficulty with memory
  • reduced interest in activities

(Healthline, 2019)

PTSD is typically treated and managed through medication such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication and/or therapy such as psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  Patients are also encouraged to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep and exercise (Healthline, 2019).

Donohue, Maureen (2019). Healthline – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

Healthline (2020). 2020 Health Awareness Calendar.  Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/directory-awareness-months#1