PTSD AWARENESS MONTH

Many trauma survivors, including those who experienced domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) find themselves struggling with the psychological and emotional impact long after the events. Among common symptoms are depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, jumpiness, avoidance of reminders and unwanted intrusive thoughts. Prolonged, grief, loss or guilt may make these symptoms worse. As many as 80% of DV and SA survivors may develop a psychological condition called posttraumatic stress disorder  (PTSD). It is important that survivors be educated and supported to understand that the development of such symptoms, and PTSD, is a normal response to trauma, resulting in changes to brain chemistry that have occured. Help is available in many forms, and treatment is individualized. Fortunately, many survivors find that they naturally heal over time without professional intervention. For more information about trauma and PTSD, click here VA National Center for PTSD.