PTSD: “The greatest casualty is being forgotten.”
Many of us have witnessed or experienced a serious illness, an accident, personal assault, or other traumatic events. As time passes, the grief typically fades, the pain lessens, and life gets back to a seemingly normal state. Most people recover from these traumatic events, but some may experience severe distress, anxiety and depression for months or even years afterwards. Symptoms that can deeply affect the individual include reoccurring and intrusive thoughts, upsetting triggers, nightmares and difficulty with sleeping or being relaxed. This can lead to a sense of detachment between the victim and their loved ones, which can increase the severity of symptoms. If an individual is exhibiting any of these issues, they may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious and potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have witnessed or experienced a life-threatening event. These traumatic events include natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist attacks, sudden death of loved ones, battle field experience, or sexual assault. These events can cause some serious effects after the fact. Many patients with PTSD suffer from an increase in risk of poor physical and mental health. PTSD can lead to development or worsening of mental illness, increased risk of suicide and intensive treatment.
Several treatment options are available for sufferers of PTSD. These treatments range from group therapy, individual counseling, and prescription medication. Healing can be found in each of these methods or in combination and many PTSD victims can maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.
The victims of PTSD that may suffer in silence are those that have served among the armed forces. Organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project are established in order to honor and empower those who have fought to protect our nation. WWP uses programs and amenities to encourage those who are suffering to reach out and ask for help in order to support themselves and their family members. WWP can also help family members with learning how to better assist in their loved ones healing process.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder can affect all ages, demographics, and genders. Developing PTSD does not mean that the victim is weaker than other individuals who have suffered a trauma. In fact, nearly 20% of Iraq veterans suffer from some form of PTSD and 30% of veterans that served in Vietnam suffer from PTSD. Many of these men and women may feel as if asking for help is a sign of weakness; however the Wounded Warrior Project strongly encourages veterans to speak up and seek help. WWP works with veterans in order to explain the symptoms they may experience and normalize the trauma as a valid, human reaction to a severely stressful, life event.
Through the support of generous donors, the Wounded Warrior Project is able to serve our soldiers in every stage of their recovery; from someone directly coming off the battlefield to a veteran that has had life-long struggles with PTSD. The Wounded Warrior Project campaigns for its members and their families by working with Congress and the federal government in order to create, advocate and lobby for legislation, regulations and programs to assist those in need.
Those who want to support the Wounded Warrior Project may do so by providing donations. The Wounded Warrior Project offers donating available online at woundedwarriorproject.org or you can directly purchase a Wounded Warrior flag at Flags.com. Honor and care for those who have served and let them know they are not alone on their journey to healing.