PTSD Awareness Month

and what the colour Teal has to do with it.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Back in 2010, The National Centre for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the USA designated June as PTSD Awareness Month – a month dedicated to raising awareness of PTSD and C-PTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

This campaign is centred in the United States, although the charity PTSD UK also take part in the event, the only charity in Britain dedicated to raising awareness for PTSD and C-PTSD (founded in 2015). Teal is the colour used for the awareness ribbon and is associated with courage.

History of PTSD Awareness

The term PTSD was only officially introduced in the 1980s, even though it is a condition that has been around for thousands of years. It has gone by numerous different names in the past. The first official case of psychological distress can be traced back to 3000 BC, when it was documented in ancient Greco-Roman soldiers. Similarly, ‘chronic mental symptoms caused by sudden fright’ were reported in the account of the battle of Marathon by Herodotus, written in 440 BC. Later, ‘shell shock’, became the diagnosis for combat stress in soldiers during World War I. It then changed to ‘Battle Fatigue’ in World War II, and ‘Gross Stress Reaction’ during the Vietnam conflict.

Why is PTSD awareness month necessary?

It is only recently that PTSD has become recognised as a reaction to stressors other than conflict and war. Non-veterans can be affected by it, as psychological research conducted on Holocaust victims and rape survivors has helped to prove.

Our bodies were not designed to cope with huge amounts of distress. Because of this, PTSD is estimated to affect about one in every three people who have a traumatic experience (however, it is unclear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not).

Part of the awareness month involves education on the causes of post-traumatic stress, which are wide-ranging and encompass so many types of experience, including natural disasters, violence, serious accidents, life-threatening illnesses, and physical, emotional or sexual abuse during childhood or adulthood, as well as resulting symptoms and treatment.

By recognising the way in which trauma can affect people, we can treat post-traumatic stress and prevent trauma from being repeated later on in life.

Simply letting those with PTSD know we are there is impactful. A large part of the treatment of PTSD involves social support and opening up to others. Encouraging open talk and facilitating conversation helps us to understand this condition better, and is vital if we are to move forward as a society in responding positively to people with PTSD.

For more information, visit:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd-and-complex-ptsd/about-ptsd/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

References

National Today. (2022). National PTSD Awareness Day – June 27, 2022. Retrieved from National Today: https://nationaltoday.com/national-ptsd-awareness-day/

NHS. (2022, 05 13). Overview – Post-traumatic stress disorder. Retrieved from NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/overview/

PTSD UK. (2022). About PTSD UK. Retrieved from PTSD UK: https://www.ptsduk.org/why-ptsd-uk-is-here/about-ptsd-uk/

Ree Medical. (2021, 05 12). Ree Medical: Helping Veterans Obtain Benefits. Retrieved from Why PTSD awareness month is important and how to raise awareness about the condition: https://www.reemedical.com/why-ptsd-awareness-month-is-important-and-how-to-raise-awareness-about-the-condition

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022). PTSD: National Center for PTSD. Retrieved from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/

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