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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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The Office of Veterans Affairs and Disability Services (VADS) at Alabama A&M University is celebrating the month of June as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. During this month, VADS will bring greater awareness to the issue of PTSD by discussing its basics - such as the causes, symptoms, treatment options and resources available to individuals living with PTSD.

Did you know that 7.7 million Americans age 18 and older have PTSD?

It is a serious mental health condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a terrifying event, such as a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events. If you think that you may be suffering from PTSD, please take a few moments to watch the video below "What It Feels Like to Have PTSD".

Now that you have watched the video, do you have similar feelings and thoughts as the people in the video? If so, continue reading...

                  What are some symptoms of PTSD?
​Nightmares ​Insomnia ​Poor/Negative Self-Esteem
​Guilt ​Anxiety ​Frustration
​Intrusive Memories
​Avoidance ​Hyper vigilance
​Poor Judgment ​Startle Response ​Poor concentration
​Survivor Guilt
​Loss of Motivation ​Short Term Memory Loss
​Flashbacks ​Lack of Feelings ​Helplessness
​Rage ​Isolation ​Irritability
​Depression ​Physical Pain ​Mistrust

Keep in mind, PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. PTSD symptoms may occur more often when you are stressed or come across reminders of what you went through. Without treatment, PTSD symptoms can worsen.

What should I do if I think I have PTSD?

A good starting point for you is to answer the questions in the screening tool below. Your responses may help you to determine whether or not you want to see a mental health care provider.

PTSD Screen

1. Have you ever experienced a traumatizing event in your Life  Yes__  No__

In the past moth, have you:

2. Had nightmares about the event(s) or thought about the event(s) when you didn't want to?  Yes__  No__

3, Tried hard not to think about the event(s) or went out of your way to avoid situations that reminded you of the event(s)?  Yes__ No__

4. Been constantly on guard, watchful, or easily startle? Yes__ No__

5. Felt numb or detached from people, activities, or your surroundings? Yes__ No__

6. Felt guilty or unable to stop blaming yourself or others for the event(s) or any problems the event(s) may have caused? Yes__ No__

Note: if you answered "yes" to 3 or more of these questions, talk to a mental health care provider to learn more about PTSD and PTSD treatment. Remember, answering 3 or more questions does not mean you have PTSD. Only a mental health care provider such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker can tell you for sure.

Will treatment help me with PTSD?

For many people, YES! Treatments can get rid of symptoms altogether. Others find they have fewer symptoms or feel that their symptoms are less intense. After treatment, most people feel they have a better quality of life. To better understand how you can benefit from treatment for PTSD, please watch the video below "Treatment for PTSD".

When to Get Emergency Help

If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. You may also call suicide hotline number --- in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

Available Resources

Call 911 (Residents in North American), or 1-800-273-8255, then press 1 (National Crisis and Suicide Prevention Lifeline), or TEXT to 838255 (Veterans Crisis Line), or 256-372-4751 (AAMU Health and Counseling Services).