June is PTSD Awareness Month!

If you don’t know what PTSD is here’s a rundown of it-

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but what is it exactly?

It’s an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. The type of events that can cause PTSD include: serious road accidents. violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery, and abuse.

What are some symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

People may experience: 
Behavioral: agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, or social isolation
Psychological: flashback, fear, severe anxiety, or mistrust
Mood: inability to feel pleasure, guilt, or loneliness
Sleep: insomnia or nightmares
Also common: emotional detachment or unwanted thoughts     

What kind of people get diagnosed for PTSD?

They range from about 3 to 60+ years of age, most people often think of veterans of war when thinking about this condition but it could really effect anyone! If you’ve experienced trauma chances are that you may develop some form of PTSD whether it be mild or severe.

PTSD is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, but you can receive treatment for it! The treatment, of course, consists of therapy, which you could either get from a run-of-the-mill therapist or a specialist.

Thank you, and I hope this helps a few people this month!

post traumatic stress disorder is a normal reaction to extreme trauma. just like bleeding is a normal reaction to getting stabbed.
—  unknown
June is PTSD Awareness Month

so just a heads up:

I am currently, and am going to be until this awareness month ends, talking and posting as much as I can about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, how it works, how it affects day to day life, how much it changes you as a person, etc.

However, this is not an open invitation to say things like, “what you went through made you the person you are today!” or any other bright side cliches.

my trauma did not make me a better person.

my trauma did not make me wiser.

my trauma was not a necessary part of ‘building my character’.

my trauma was just that, TRAUMA.

I do not celebrate it, I do not embrace it, and PTSD is not an award I was handed for surviving that trauma.

PTSD is just one more thing I have to SURVIVE through every day, on top of the multiple diseases I already deal with.

I am fairly open about it.
but I am NOT okay with it.

facts about PTSD

PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is NOT a mental illness. - it is a psychological injury. 

how does your brain change with ptsd ? 

hippocampus shrinks 

this area helps us distinguish past and present memories. 

increased activity in the amygdala   

helps us process emotions and is also linked to fear responses. 

ventromedial prefrontal cortex shrinks

this region regulates negative emotions that occur when confrontation with specific stimuli. 

these changes in the brain chemistry are the reasons why only treatments such as EMDR and CBT can fully reverse the effects of PTSD . 

(information to follow about these therapies.)


GET INVOLVED: The benefits of PTSD Service Dogs.

Atlas the Wonderdog with his veteran, Kenny, the founder of The Battle Buddy Foundation. (Photos courtesy of The Battle Buddy Foundation, on Facebook.)

A PTSD service dog is one that’s been trained specifically for someone with the disorder. These dogs can be trained to help anyone, veteran or civilian, by walking in front of or behind the person in public. This simple act provides a sense of security a person often needs to be comfortable in a situation.

PTSD service dogs can also be trained to recognize when a person with the disorder is having difficulty handling a certain situation. Places with loud, sudden noises, blinking lights or crowds trigger emotional reactions in PTSD sufferers. Having a PTSD service dog on hand will prevent the person from entering a trigger situation or allow them to focus their minds on something else.

Additionally, some agencies will train PTSD service dogs to “block” or “follow” a person. Some PTSD suffers, especially combat veterans, are uncomfortable in lines with people standing in close proximity in front of or behind them. A dog trained to block or follow will stand in front of or behind their owners, creating more physical space between them and the people around them, Davis said. This is also helpful to wounded veterans with hearing-related injuries that are fearful of what’s behind them.

It’s common for people with PTSD to find themselves feeling distant from loved ones and their environment. Having a dog by their side helps to boost their morale and encourages them to engage, bringing them back into their relationships and society. When trained with positive reinforcement and used properly, these types of service dogs can easily work for up to 12 years without any adverse physical or emotional side effects.

The Battle Buddy Foundation was founded by Marine infantry combat veterans. TBBF is dedicated to serving our brothers/sisters in arms struggling with PTSD and other combat related injuries. The organization and its staff are dedicated to promoting a higher quality of LIFE, assisting with the LIBERTY of independent living, and aiding in the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS for Disabled Veterans as they transition to civilian life.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal. With PTSD, the “fight-or-flight” response, which is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm,is changed, damaged, and often over activated. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.