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Understanding PTSD

Recognizing Its Impact and Supporting Recovery

June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, an important time dedicated to raising awareness about this serious condition, educating the public, reducing stigma, and showing support for individuals affected by it. 

What is PTSD?

PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, including veterans, first responders, survivors of physical and sexual assault, accidents, disasters, or other serious events.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Many who experience traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping with normal day-to-day activities, however with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms worsen, last for months or years, and interfere with daily functioning, a person may be diagnosed with PTSD.

Background of PTSD Awareness Month

PTSD Awareness Month aims to:

  • Highlight the importance of mental health support for those experiencing PTSD.

  • Educate the public on symptoms and treatments.

  • And encourage those suffering to seek help.

The month is also an opportunity to recognize the high rates of PTSD among veterans, aligning with the #22aday movement, which brings attention to the roughly 22 veterans who die by suicide each day, many of whom suffer from untreated PTSD.

Causes and Recognition of PTSD

While PTSD is commonly associated with combat veterans, it can affect anyone who has experienced significant trauma. Increasing awareness about PTSD in all groups, such as individuals experiencing postpartum PTSD, which can occur after traumatic childbirth, is crucial. Acknowledging diverse causes and broadening the understanding of PTSD helps in recognizing the signs early and treating them effectively.

Integrating Self-Care Practices to Manage PTSD

Self-care is essential in managing PTSD, in addition to professional treatments including therapy and medication. Effective self-care strategies for those with PTSD can include:

  • Exercise: Physical activity can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.

  • Mindfulness & Meditation: Help individuals stay present and lessen the impact of traumatic memories.

  • Adequate Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for mental health and managing PTSD symptoms.

  • Nutrition: A balanced diet supports overall health and can impact mood and energy levels.

When and Why to Seek Help for PTSD

Recognizing when to seek help for PTSD is difficult, yet crucial to recovery. If symptoms including persistent sadness, anxiety, or flashbacks intensify or disrupt daily life, professional help, increased substance use, or significant changes in mood and behavior. Seeking help is beneficial and will provide effective strategies for managing symptoms with a structured approach to recovery.

Types of Therapy for PTSD

There are a variety of approaches for treating PTSD including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Helps patients understand and change the thoughts that are disturbing and contributing to their PTSD.

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Processing distressing memories and changing the negative reactions associated with them.

  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Involves exposure to the trauma memory to reduce its power through a gradual approach using relaxation techniques.

Addressing the Stigma Surrounding PTSD

Stigma around PTSD can hinder those affected from seeking help. It often stems from misconceptions that PTSD signifies weakness or is only associated with veterans. Combating this stigma involves educating the public, promoting open conversations about mental health, and highlighting successful treatment outcomes. 

BestLife's Commitment to Veterans and All Suffering from PTSD

As a veteran-owned business, BestLife is uniquely positioned to support veterans and others affected by PTSD. We understand the challenges faced by those who have served and experienced traumatic events in the line of duty, and are committed to providing specialized care that addresses the specific needs of veterans and all individuals experiencing PTSD.

BestLife offers a range of services to support recovery from PTSD, employing evidence-based therapies and a personalized approach to care. If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of PTSD, BestLife is here to help.


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