The month of June is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, Awareness Month.
“It’s a set of symptoms that we see, it happens in response to…..for some individuals, in response to an experience of trauma,” says clinical physician Dr. Timohty Boling.
PTSD is a mental condition which affects the way people act after a traumatic experience. These experiences can range from recent life-threatening events to submerged trauma from youth, and the symptoms affect every patient differently.
Dr. Boling explained there are three different areas most patients experience – one being re-experiencing.
“So, the event keeps coming back in some form or fashion. Either through memory, images, sometimes feelings, sensory experiences, smells, something of that nature,” Dr. Boling says.
PTSD is highly known for affecting active duty service members who served in combat areas. But in today’s age, many are seeing a better chance of recovery after returning stateside thanks to the awareness of the disease itself.
“I think the other reason why it’s so important to talk about it now is, you know you referenced, we didn’t have a name for it – for our World War II veterans, or even before that. Except sometimes they’d say ‘shell shocked,’ or something like that. There’s a lot of stigma around having PTSD or any type of mental health diagnosis, so people start to isolate themselves.”
Dr. Boling says PTSD needs to be continually talked about to keep the awareness alive. He hopes it will one day not be as stigmatized for a patient suffering from the disease.