Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What do you know about PTSD ?

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) is an anxiety disorder which is not age specific. An individual may develop PTSD after a traumatic experience such as, physical harm or a threat of physical harm.  Some events that cause PTSD may include but are not limited to assault, car accidents, domestic abuse, rape, war, and terrorism. 
Passed by congress, June 27th is officially named PTSD awareness day. In addition, June is also known as PTSD awareness month.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs briefly described the four common symptoms of PTSD;

  • "Reliving the event ( nightmares, flashbacks, or something triggering a flashback )
  • Avoidance ( crowds, driving, or certain movies that may remind them of a specific incident )
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings ( distant oneself from people, unable to talk about experiences, may not be able to trust people )
  • Hyperarousal ( trouble sleeping, concentrating, and may be startled by loud noise )"
Click Here to find out more about PTSD symptoms
According to the National Treatment of Mental Health, the two main treatments for PTSD are psychotherapy and medication. In some events, a combination of both treatments may be used to treat an individual. 

Psychotherapy, which usually last 6 to 12 weeks, helps cure mental illness. Sessions typically occur one-on-one, but group therapies occur as well. Another form of therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. There are different parts of CBT:

  • "Exposure therapy ( helps people face and control their fears )
  • Cognitive restructuring ( helps people make sense of bad memories) 
  • Stress inoculation training ( help reduce PTSD symptoms by teaching a person how to reduce anxiety )" 
Click Here to find out more about PTSD treatments

K9's For Warriors, a non-profit organization , helps warriors suffering from PTSD post 9/11. With over 500,000 military personnel diagnosed with this disorder each year, K9s For Warriors "helps warriors return to civilian life with dignity and independence". JaKob Zetwick ( image below ), a proud K9s for warriors graduate,  has made significant progress over the years with his PTSD with help from this life changing organization. 

(JaKob Zetwick Graduating with Tracer from K9s For Warriors Service Dog Training)

"Tracer and I volunteer with the Fort Spokane Battalion Sea Cadets. It's very rewarding for us. The most rewarding thing I received from K9's for Warriors is the amazing support that comes from participating and graduating from the program. From day one, you are part of the family and any time you have questions or need something, the K9's staff is more than happy to help out. They really are amazing people. My life would be significantly different had I not crossed paths with K9's for Warriors. While I can't say how I would be for sure, I can imagine that I would be extremely reclusive. Though I still have a fear of leaving my house, Tracer holds me accountable and makes me take him on long walks just about every day. I can honestly say that I am way better off now than I was prior to attending K9's for Warriors."

-JaKob Zetwick

For more information about K9's For Warriors or to donate to its cause Click Here

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