Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month

June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, and Congress named June 27th PTSD Awareness Day; a time to call attention to this condition and to the treatments available to help the millions affected with this disorder.

You Can Make A Difference By Helping To Raise PTSD Awareness

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LEARN:

As with everything: Knowledge is power!  Learn the basics of PTSD.  Get the facts about signs, symptoms, and treatment options.

CONNECT:

Whether you want to take action for yourself or a loved one – Reach out to someone.

SHARE:

Share what you learn about PTSD and help support others in their quest to beat the illness.

What is PTSD?

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Posttraumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder triggered by a stressful or life-threatening event.  Whether one witnesses a traumatic event or actually experiences it for themselves, feelings of fear and helplessness are often encountered.  If these feelings and reactions don’t eventually go away and continue to interfere with daily life – the result may be PTSD.

Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Reliving the Event
    • Flashbacks
    • Upsetting dreams
    • Triggers that remind the victim of the event and cause more emotional stress
Avoidance
    • Avoiding situations, places, people, and activities that trigger memories of the event
    • Avoiding talking or thinking about the event
Negative Changes in Thought
    • Negative feelings about oneself or others
    • Feelings of mistrust
    • Emotional numbness
    • Lack of interest in once enjoyed activities
    • A sense of hopelessness
Hyperarousal
    • Behavioral evidence of being jittery or easily startled
    • A sense of having to be always on guard
    • Irritability
    • Aggressive behaviors
    • Self-destructive behaviors

Treatment for PTSD

stressed man_123RF11116419The good news is there ARE treatments that work.  Psychotherapy as well as certain medications are both proven treatments that can help those with PTSD regain control over their lives again.  Sometimes the treatments are combined and have successfully enabled those with PTSD to find ways to feel better and learn to cope with symptoms should they ever arise again.

Some types of psychotherapy and medications used to treat PTSD are:

Cognitive Processing Therapy – Helps identify and change trauma-related thoughts

Prolonged Exposure Therapy – Involves repeatedly talking about trauma and facing situations related to the trauma

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – Helps change reaction to trauma memories

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – Raises serotonin levels in the brain

PTSD in Security Professionals and Public Safety Dispatchers

security guard in crowd_123RF8064532There are two growing populations of professionals who suffer from PTSD more than was once understood:  Security Professionals and Public Safety Dispatchers.

These professionals are exposed to a constant stream of crises.

Security professionals are thrust daily into high-stress, dangerous environments. Dispatchers hear and envision some of the most gut-wrenching, gruesome, traumatic situations imaginable.
The rate of fatal workplace injuries for Security Guards in the U.S. is more than twice that of workers in general. One survey states that 15-32% of emergency workers are diagnosed with PTSD.

 


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The key is to realize that all of these individuals are at high-risk for developing PTSD.

Findings from UC Berkeley indicate that chronic stress leads to changes in the white and grey matter of the brain. Those with PTSD end up with much higher levels of grey matter. The lack of balance means that a fear response may be greater.

Policies and procedures for training and psychological support in dealing with the effects of stress and traumatic exposure that these professionals experience daily must be put in place in order to ensure the mental health of these individuals.

Proactive measures may also be taken to raise organizational awareness prior to any negative experiences or events.

Professional development courses, such as those available in the HITS Health and Fitness Series, provide instruction on stress management, and learners are encouraged to deal with stress by developing a life outside of work, living in the present, engaging in aerobic exercise, eating properly, thinking positively, managing time effectively, and using relaxation responses.

Enroll Now

 

Posted in Security, Telecom by sonictemple at June 1st, 2015.
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