Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can greatly impact any person who has experienced trauma in their life. While PTSD is often associated with the aftermath and symptoms many veterans experience, anyone can develop PTSD.
It is estimated that over 70% of adults will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime and more than 20% will develop PTSD.
Those who have experienced trauma can have a varying degree of thresholds when it comes to triggers. For some, a day with excessively strong winds in Cedar Rapids, getting back into a car after an accident, fireworks on the 4th of July, a song on the radio, or a recognizable smell can all take those who experienced trauma back to a place that can be so debilitating that everyday functions seem impossible. Symptoms of a traumatic episode usually begin within three months of experiencing an event, but we also know some symptoms can first emerge years later. Those symptoms can include recurring, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories; avoiding certain places or objects that trigger unwanted feelings of the event; cognitive and mood symptoms such as feeling numb, worried, or depressed; or the feeling of being hypervigilant – startled by any noise or stimuli that resembles the event, trouble sleeping, or emotional outbursts.
Everyone with PTSD—whether they are a veteran or civilian survivor of sexual assault, serious accident, natural disaster, or other traumatic event—needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life.
Get Screened for PTSD
June 27 marks National PTSD Awareness and Screening Day. An easy online tool can be found on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website, but it can assist anyone who has experienced trauma. As much as we support our local veterans and their mental health needs, one does not need to leave a combat zone to feel worthy of receiving help for traumatic events.
Help is Available
No crisis is ever too small to reach out to for help.
If you or a loved one are struggling with the aftermath of any traumatic event, consider using an online screener tool. Knowing is the first step and help is available. Visit Linn County’s website for more information about PTSD and where to find services.