If you're like me you've probably heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and have associated it with military personnel, active or veterans, who may have suffered extreme trauma as a result of combat. While it is certainly a concern for military troops returning from duty, PTSD is actually a mental health problem which anyone can develop at any age. Events other than combat might include a car accident, sexual assault or the loss of a loved one. Such occurrences may lead to symptoms like extreme anxiety, sleep deprivation and disturbing memories. When these symptoms continue over time, they may be diagnosed as PTSD.
I've known several of our senior residents throughout the years who have suffered from PTSD. Some withdraw socially and isolate themselves within their homes. Others might remain social but become emotional very quickly at seemingly random moments. No two cases are ever identical. Although treatment for PTSD is available through psychotherapy, medication or a combination of the two, I can't help wondering how may others in our care may suffer without ever being properly diagnosed.
Last month, Tracey Fowler, an outreach coordinator who works with Maryville University in St. Louis sent me some educational links which can provide an abundance of additional information regarding PTSD. If you or someone you know is struggling to recover from a traumatic event, check out the links listed below.
Maryville University, Understanding a Veteran with PTSD
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs- National Center for PTSD
U.S. Veteran's Magazine- Challenges during readjustment to civilian life
National Institute of Mental Health
National Sleep Foundation
Psychology Today- Locating a therapist for trauma and PTSD