June is PTSD awareness month and New Phoebe House would like to bring attention to this, often, debilitating disorder.
What is PTSD? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced intense shock, fear or horror in response to an event. The disorder is often associated with combat and with people who have fought in wars. However, it can also occur when a person has witnesses or experiences a life event that has left them helpless or have altered their sense of safety.
For the women and children in recovery at Phoebe House, PTSD has a profound meaning, as it is often a link to substance abuse and addiction.
As one of our New Phoebe House graduates stated, “my memory was affected by trauma, which affected my social skills, which affected my attitude about life…it makes you so sick–mind, body, and spirit”.
Every year millions of men and women experience PTSD and many, who live with the disorder, do not have the resources to get the help they need. Did you know that women are more than twice as likely to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder than men?
It’s true. According to research conducted by the National Center for PTSD, five out of ten women will experience trauma at least once in their lifetime. The National Center for PTSD also found that:
- Women are more likely to experience sexual assault.
- Sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than many other events.
- And, women have a substantially higher rate of domestic violence as adults.
A diagnosing of PTSD can only be made by a medical or mental health professional. For people suffering from the disorder, it’s important they seek professional treatment as soon as possible, as PTSD tends to get worse with time. Family and friends who wish to help love ones suffering from the disorder can do so by:
Learning the symptoms of PTSD: It’s important to learn as much as you can about PTSD and how it relates to substance abuse and addictions. Experts have found that one of the most important factors in recovery is support.
Listen : Trauma often needs to be vocalized. Perhaps the easiest way to help is to simply be a good listener. Be honest in your communications, try not to pretend to relate to their trauma by comparing your experiences to their trauma. It’s also important to listen without judgment, disapproval or unsolicited advice.
Encourage professional treatment: Professional help is usually an important step in PTSD recovery, especially when substance and addiction is involved. To learn more about PTSD and how you can help, visit the National Center for PTSD.