Learn, Connect, Share—to Raise Awareness of Posttraumatic Stress

"Post-traumatic stress produces legions of heroes, whose every day is a test of their mettle," writes Belleruth Naparstek, in Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal. "PTSD is far more common than most of us think. All of us know several trauma survivors who've suffered from it, and very likely someone very close to us has been in its nasty grip."

This year, in order to bring greater awareness to the issue of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how many people are affected by it, the United States Senate designated June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. In addition, June has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month by the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD).

The National Center for PTSD has adopted the theme, Learn, Connect, Share to raise awareness that PTSD touches us all. If we don't have PTSD, we are almost certain to know someone who does. We might not know they suffer symptoms of this debilitating condition, because they are often reluctant to share their stories out of guilt, shame or fear of re-visiting the trauma.

Whether we have PTSD or know someone who does, we are asked to learn, connect and share on a global and local level. PTSD affects a wide range of people, from veterans of combat and survivors of childhood abuse and domestic violence to adults and children traumatized by natural disasters and those who have experienced egregious war crimes and lived for years under oppressive, inhumane conditions.

During PTSD Awareness Month, we are reminded that we are all one, and what hurts one of us hurts us all. "Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere," according to Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel-Prize winning peace advocate. "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." He said that there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice and human suffering, but there must never be a time when we are indifferent to it.

To find out how you can help, visit the NCPTSD website. If you are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, there is help available. The NCPTSD provides information on how and when to seek professional help, how to find support groups and even offers an Online Coach.

To read about a study on the use of guided imagery and healing touch to treat posttraumatic stress in veterans of combat read Belleruth's blog post Scripps Study Rocks World of Standard Care for Combat Stress.

To learn about some of the new modalities for treating PTSD, read Belleruth's blog post What Works Best for Posttraumatic Stress—a Fresh Meta-analysis.

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. To view our titles that are often used by people experiencing symptoms of posttraumatic stress visit our Online Store.

As always, we welcome your comments and stories. We wish a happy and peaceful summer to you and yours.