Mental Health Awareness – PTSD

Welcome back! I hope that you’ve learned lots this week, and maybe even changed some of your beliefs about mental health. For those who are struggling now, or who have struggled in the past, I honor your courage and resilience, and support your commitment to health. Remember – the brain is connected to the body, and you can’t take care of your whole self unless you attend to the way you think and feel.

To close Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re going to look at posttraumatic stress disorder, a cluster of symptoms that arise after someone is exposed to a traumatic event (e.g., a car accident, a violent crime, abuse, combat, etc.). People with PTSD tend to experience increased irritability, thoughts about the event that they can’t shake, nightmares, and increased vigilance. Anxiety and depression may also be included. Many people will experience these things this after something terrible happens to them, but when those symptoms persist past a month, it might be worth talking to someone about.

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Thank you again for taking the time to read and learn with me this week. I hope this information has helped you, or someone you care about. And I hope that soon, the stigma associated with mental health issues is a thing of the past!

And one more time, here are some national resources which may be of help to you or someone you care about:

www.nami.org (National Alliance for Mental Illness – the largest grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country.  They offer groups, resource referral, family services, and information for anyone in need)

www.mentalhealthamerica.net (Mental Health America – programs, advocacy, and public education)

www.dbsalliance.org (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance – they also offer groups, resource referral, family services, and information for anyone in need)

www.aa.org (Alcoholics Anonymous – information on the program and how to find meetings)

www.na.org (Narcotics Anonymous – information on the program and how to find meetings)

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/ (Al-Anon – information on meetings and resources for friends and family members of people who have a problem with alcohol or drugs, including a section specifically for teens)

www.samhsa.gov (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – a government agency with tons of good information including research-supported treatment options for drug/alcohol abuse and mental health problems)

http://www.thehotline.org/ (National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE. Information and resources about domestic violence and how to break the cycle of abuse)

www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org (Suicide Prevention Website – also call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are in emotional crisis or need to talk.  This service is free and confidential.)

http://www.who.int/mental_health/en/ (World Health Organization – dedicated to research and treatment around the world on issues related to physical and mental health)

*Note: All posts this week are written with the hope of providing support and encouragement, and raising awareness. Trained mental health professional may be available in your area to provide assistance. If you or someone you love is concerned about your immediate safety for any reason, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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