June is recognized as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness month. It is commonly referred to PTSD. By definition, it is a mental health condition some people develop after a traumatic experience. Most often, PTSD is associated with someone who has served in combat while in the military. Over the years, it is now being recognized among individuals who’ve experienced other types of trauma. Examples include a life threatening event, domestic abuse or sexual assault. PTSD is oftentimes overlooked. However, far more people suffer from it than most of us could possibly imagine.
For me, it was not something I even realized I suffered from until I was sitting in a workshop a few years ago. The topic was PTSD and the facilitator is the Director of The Athena Project here in Memphis. As she described the symptoms, I found myself becoming overwhelmed with emotions. I cried. Not so much because I realized in that moment that she was describing me and my life. I cried because for the first time in my life, I felt like I had an explanation for why certain things affect me the way they do. It was a sigh of relief. My feelings finally had a name, and the name was PTSD.
If you are reading this, I strongly encourage you to check out the following link: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/what-is-ptsd.asp It’s from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It provides some great information regarding PTSD, including knowing the signs and getting help. If you’re in the Memphis, TN area, please reach out to The Athena Project: http://www.memphis.edu/athena/