National PTSD Awareness Day
By MrsDriver on June 27, 2011
Featured Member Post
Today, June 27th, is the second annual National PTSD Awareness Day. In honor of it, I will be wearing my teal ribbon and hope that all of you will do the same. I also thought it would be appropriate to discuss it here once again.
I've talked about my personal experiences with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the past, but it's important to understand how it affects our community at large. First of all, let's take a look at how many people it affects. Here are a few statistics I found on www.healmyptsd.com (I know it's a lot of numbers, but please read them and bear with me):
- 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. That’s 223.4 million people.
- Up to 20% of these people go on to develop PTSD. As of today, that’s 31.3 million people who did or are struggling with PTSD.
- Among people who are victims of a severe traumatic experience 60 – 80% will develop PTSD.
- According the the National Center for PTSD: “Studies have shown that as many as 100% of children who witness a parental homicide or sexual assault develop PTSD. Similarly, 90% of sexually abused children, 77% of children exposed to a school shooting, and 35% of urban youth exposed to community violence develop PTSD.”
- In the past year alone the number of diagnosed cases in the military jumped 50% – and that’s just diagnosed cases.
- Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD.
So what does this tell us? Ultimately, there is no "face" of PTSD. Our veterans are suffering from this. Our children are suffering from this, and, if they don't get help, will continue to suffer.
But how can anyone get help, if they don't know it's a problem? That's where you come in. We can all help raise awareness that teaches the community what PTSD is and allows those suffering from it to seek out the help they need without shame or stigma.
Why should you care? Well, for one, there is a good chance you know someone with PTSD. By understanding it, you can offer support in healing. The Department of Veteran Affairs has some great resources on this here. Also, PTSD is affecting our economy. Read the following from www.healmyptsd.com:
"According to Sidran Institute the economic burden of PTSD is large. Interesting numbers include:
The annual cost to society of anxiety disorders is estimated to be significantly over $42.3 billion, often due to misdiagnosis and undertreatment. This includes psychiatric and nonpsychiatric medical treatment costs, indirect workplace costs, mortality costs, and prescription drug costs.
More than half of these costs are attributed to repeat use of healthcare services to relieve anxiety-related symptoms that mimic those of other physical conditions.
People with PTSD have among the highest rates of healthcare service use. People with PTSD present with a range of symptoms, the cause of which may be overlooked or undiagnosed as having resulted from past trauma.
Nonpsychiatric direct medical costs, e.g., doctor and hospital visits, is $23 billion a year-the largest component of the societal costs are anxiety disorders, including PTSD."
Did you catch that? $42.3 billion related to misdiagnosis and undertreatment. Clearly, there is a problem here.
So I have one more favor to ask you. Follow this link to the Department of Veterans Affairs page that gives an overview of PTSD. It briefly explains how it develops and some common symptoms. A little information can go a long way. So read that information and pass it along, either by sharing this posting, the direct link or printing it off and handing it to someone the good old-fashioned way.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
"We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own." -Ben Sweetland
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