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MHR Blog- How The Healer Heals

PTSD Awareness

PTSD Awareness

June Is PTSD Awareness Month. According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 60% of men and 50% of women experience one traumatic event in their lifetime (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2023). Child abuse, sexual assault, court cases, drive by shootings, gun violence, divorce, tragic deaths, service in the military, deployment of a loved one, tours of durty as members of the miltary, work experiences as a result of a profession, car accidents, traumatic injuries, experiencing the COVID virus or watching a loved one go through severe illness of any kind , the COVID pandemic, and domestic violence, are all examples of events that lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At times, the actual event does not have to occur, it is just the threat of the incident occurring. Bystanders, not just victims, can experience PTSD. PTSD is mysterious in that not everyone who sees or experiences a traumatic event will experience PTSD. Any age group can experience PTSD, and all backgrounds can experience PTSD.


PTSD as defined by Durand et al., 2019, is ”enduring, distressing emotional disorder that follows exposure to a severe helplessness-or fear-inducting threat” (p. 147). Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks (recurring thoughts and feelings experienced at the time of the trauma), feeling “numb” or being absent of feelings, avoiding certain people or places, feeling intensified emotions, and difficulty sleeping (UpToDate, 2023). Symptoms can begin right after the trauma or take time to develop (UpToDate, 2023).


Risk factors for developing PTSD can be prior traumatic experiences, feeling terror or helplessness, lack of social support, additional stress, history of mental illness, family history of mental illness, and substance use personally or a family history (National Institute of Mental Health [NIH], 2023).

The formal diagnosis of PTSD must be made by a trained medical professional. If you are experiencing suicidal and/or homicidal ideations, please seek help immediately by going to the closest emergency department or you can dial 988. Treatment is available for PTSD. These treatments include counseling and medications. It is important to find a provider that specializes in treating PTSD, such as a counselor trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Establishing a support system can lessen the PTSD even if it is after the traumatic experience (Durand et al., 2019). Treatment can lead to recovery, but it is a long process.

June 27th is PTSD screening day. Provided is a link to take a quiz to see if you are experiencing PTSD. It is a five-question test, and if one scores 3 or more, then PTSD should be suspected, and one should seek professional assistance in managing PTSD.


https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/awareness/screening_day.asp. Please share the link with
friends and family. For additional information, please visit https://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp.


Let Us Pray:
Gracious Father, thank you for bringing comfort and healing. I pray that you meet each soul where they are in their faith journey. I pray that each person reading this blog will know you love them and you see the hurts and traumas they have endured. Help them surrender their hurt and seek out the assistance that they need to heal each day. For those needing additional assistance, give them boldness and courage to find the help they need. Send people across their path to help them find the professional assistance they need. I ask you to heal wounded and breaking hearts as only you can. Turn mourning to joy, give them beauty for their ashes, lift their heaviness, let them praise you and give them peace (Isaiah 61). In Christ’s Name I Pray, Amen.


Scripture for Meditation:
Psalm 46 [NIV]
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.


Scripture quotation taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


References
Durand, V. M., Barlow, D. H., & Hofmann, S. G. (2019). Essentials of Abnormal Psychology (8th ed.) [2016]. Cengage .
National Institute of Mental Health. (2023, May). Post-traumatic stress disorder. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd
UpToDate. (2023). Patient education: Post-traumatic stress disorder (The Basics). UpToDate.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, February 3). Va.gov.
https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp