National PTSD Awareness Month Encourages Education, Connection and Sharing
If you don’t have symptoms caused by post-traumatic stress, it’s safe to say you know someone who does. That’s what PTSD Awareness Month is all about and why it encourages us to do three things: learn, connect and share and emphasizes that we can make a difference.
When I was growing up, my uncle visited us regularly. I knew him as a gentle, fun-loving person, witty, intelligent and an accomplished executive. But a sudden, loud noise could evoke bizarre behavior, limbic rage that sent me and my siblings scattering.
People spoke in hushed tones about how he was ‘shell-shocked’ from World War II and though my aunt tried to get help for him, the prognosis was that there was nothing that could be done. Fortunately, this behavior did not occur often or disrupt our lives, but for other soldiers it took a grave toll. A family friend, who suffered what was then called battle-fatigue, from the Korean War, had a much worse prognosis and eventually lost his job, his family and committed suicide.
When I graduated high school, many of my friends were shipped off to Viet Nam. Some never came home and we huddled at memorial services for them, and did our best to comfort their loved ones. Others came home physically disabled.
An even greater number of Viet Nam Veterans came home with what people termed invisible injuries. They were said to be mentally or emotionally unstable and many suffered tragic consequences. This condition became known as Combat Stress Reaction (CSR). It was a better term for the condition than shell-shock or battle fatigue, but if you or a loved one was diagnosed with CSR, you were left with a lot of unanswered questions.
As an increasing number of veterans returned from Iraq and Afghanistan exhibiting symptoms, more attention was focused on diagnosis and treatment of combat-related symptoms. Today, we know so much more about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD-some organizations have dropped the word ‘disorder’ and simply call it PTS).
We know it is not only a widely-experienced result of combat trauma. It can affect people who experience any form of trauma, including rape, assault, childhood sexual abuse, natural disasters, automobile accidents and a host of others. The best thing we have learned about PTSD is that it can be successfully treated. Perhaps the most exciting news is that mind-body medicine offers treatment modalities that have been very effective.
To read about the use of thought field therapy (Emotional Freedom Technique) go to Emotional Freedom Technique Found to Help Traumatized Vets.
To read about a study using guided imagery and healing touch, go to Healing Touch Plus Guided Imagery Swiftly Reduces PTSD, Depression, in Returning Marines. The imagery used in the study was Belleruth’s Healing Trauma.
For a heartfelt comment from a survivor of childhood sexual trauma, read about a woman’s experience with Belleruth’s Invisible Heroes.
We, at Health Journeys are excited about National PTSD Awareness Month, because every day, we speak to people who tell us of their experiences using guided imagery for PTSD and related issues, such as stress, anxiety, heartbreak, anger and sleeplessness.
We are delighted to offer 20 percent off our PTS-related products-anything you find under the PTS Category (with the exception of Playaways and Packs, which are already discounted) for the remainder of June.
For more information about PTSD , go to http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd.
For information about PTSD and veterans, go to http://maketheconnection.net.
As always, we welcome your comments and stories, and we wish you and yours a happy, healthy June.