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PTSD Awareness Month 2024

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PTSD Awareness Month 2024
Picture of Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Dr. Mohsin Ali MD is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Trained in Syracuse NY, he has worked in Tennessee for the last sixteen years.

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Understanding PTSD During PTSD Awareness Month: Insights and Support

June serves as PTSD Awareness Month, an essential time dedicated to increasing understanding and fostering support around post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition deeply affects individuals across various sectors, not limited to but including veterans, first responders, and others from diverse backgrounds. Significantly, it also impacts those grappling with substance use disorders and other mental health challenges, revealing the pervasive nature of PTSD.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental health condition that develops in some people after experiencing or witnessing a shocking, terrifying, or dangerous event. It is characterized by intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. People with PTSD may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear, or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people.

Exploring the Link Between PTSD and Substance Use Disorders

It’s not uncommon for individuals with PTSD to turn to alcohol or drugs as a self-soothing method, trying to manage the overwhelming fear, stress, and anxiety they endure. This self-medication can escalate into a substance use disorder, creating a dual diagnosis scenario where the individual battles both PTSD and addiction. Understanding this connection is vital for providing effective treatment and fostering successful recovery pathways.

Symptoms of PTSD

Recognizing the symptoms of PTSD is crucial for timely intervention.

These symptoms generally fall into four categories:

  • Intrusive Memories:
    • Persistent, unwanted distressing recollections of the traumatic event.
    • Flashbacks, where the event is relived, feeling overwhelmingly real.
    • Nightmares focused on the traumatic events.
    • Intense psychological distress or physiological reactions to reminders of the trauma.
  • Avoidance:
    • Steering clear of places, activities, or people that trigger memories of the trauma.
    • Avoiding thoughts or conversations about the traumatic event.
  • Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood:
    • Negative views about oneself or others; distorted feelings like guilt or blame.
    • Feeling alienated from others and participating less in social activities.
    • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions and feeling detached.
  • Alterations in Physical and Emotional Reactions:
    • Hypervigilance or enhanced startle response.
    • Self-destructive or reckless behavior.
    • Problems with concentration and sleep disturbances.
    • Irritability, angry outbursts, or aggressive behavior.

The Importance of Awareness and Support

PTSD Awareness Month aims to dismantle myths, provide accurate information, and integrate support mechanisms for those affected. Community efforts, educational workshops, and shared personal stories can cultivate a more informed and supportive environment. These actions encourage affected individuals to seek help and foster a community supportive of recovery.

Seeking Help for PTSD in Chattanooga, TN

For anyone struggling with PTSD in Chattanooga, TN, contact Iris Wellness Group at 423-460-9766 or through our online form help is a vital step towards recovery. Engaging with mental health professionals who specialize in PTSD and related substance use disorders is crucial. Treatments may include psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle strategies, which can significantly improve quality of life.

Moreover, organizations like the National Center for PTSD offer extensive resources and support, guiding individuals through their healing process.

As we observe PTSD Awareness Month, our collective focus should be on enhancing understanding, reducing stigma, and promoting supportive networks for recovery. This month and beyond, let’s commit to recognizing the challenges of those impacted by trauma and take active steps to assist in their journey toward healing and well-being.

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