June is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month.
In the UK it is believed that 1 in 3 people will have experienced a traumatic event in their life.
PTSD can affect anyone who has been exposed to a traumatic event – an event which provoked fear, helplessness, or horror in response to the threat of injury or death and therefore can affect anyone.
PTSD can cause a wide variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms such as hypervigilance, irrational anger & fear, panic attacks, flashbacks, digestive issues, feeling numb, nightmares and exhaustion.
I was diagnosed with PTSD in February this year.
I have been living with the symptoms for over fifteen years and finally ended up breaking down. I have been signed off of work since this happened, and am only now discussing returning to work with my doctor, occupational health and my manager.
While I do sometimes feel guilty for taking so much time off, I needed it. I needed to get help, and as hard as therapy has been on me both emotionally and physically, it was the best decision I could have made. I honestly believe this decision has saved my life.
My journey is far from over, I am not done with therapy. I can’t erase what happened and I’m sure there will be many more difficult moments, but I can say this has been life changing. It has helped me open up and be honest with myself, i have better relationships with my friends and family because I’m not trying to hide years of suffering and pain.
Most importantly I am confronting what happened to me instead of hiding from it, learning to process it and how to cope with the PTSD symptoms.
It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated with psychotherapies such has EMDR and CBT, even many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help.
Do you need more information? Check out PTSD UK or Help Raise PTSD Awareness – PTSD: National Center for PTSD (va.gov).
Samaritans: 116 123 The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. Text CONTACT to 85258
Mind Helpline: 0300 123 3393 They will look for details of help and support in your own area. The lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).
Mind Legal line: 0300 466 6463 The Mind Legal line provides legal information and general advice on mental health related law. We’re open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays). Note: They do not provide information on welfare benefits, housing or clinical negligence.
ASSIST Trauma Care If you or a member of your family have experienced a traumatic incident and would like to discuss whether therapy from ASSIST can help you, please telephone 01788 551919.
Dial 911 if you need emergency help
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741
Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255