Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness

1 min read · 1 sections

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after an individual experiences any type of trauma. Some individuals develop this disorder following a shocking, scary, or dangerous event, such as military combat, sexual abuse, a natural disaster, a serious accident, or some other traumatic event. The National Center for PTSD, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program, estimates that 6% of individuals experience PTSD at some point in their lives—and women are more likely than men to develop PTSD.There are currently 12 million people in the United States living with the disorder.2 Treatment is available. Unfortunately, most people with PTSD don’t get the help they need.

June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day. Recognition of the day is a tribute to Staff Sergeant Joe Biel, who took his own life in 2007 after returning from his second tour of duty in Iraq. The day is meant to promote open discussion about PTSD, help individuals recognize the symptoms, and encourage them to get help for the condition.

PTSD Diagnosis and What it Means

Only a licensed medical or mental health professional can diagnose an individual with PTSD. However, it can be helpful to be aware of the signs of PTSD, which typically surface within 3 months of the traumatic event, to realize that you or a loved one need help. Symptoms may include:1Man with post-traumatic stress disorder emotionally struggling as he sits in his chair.

  • Experiencing flashbacks or reliving the traumatic event in a manner that causes physical symptoms such as a racing heart or sweating.
  • Having recurring memories or nightmares related to the traumatic event.
  • Having distressing thoughts.
  • Avoiding places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience.
  • Suppressing thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event.
  • Startling easily.
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate.
  • Experiencing insomnia or other sleep problems.
  • Feeling irritable or experiencing angry outbursts.
  • Engaging in risky, reckless, or destructive behavior.
  • Being unable to remember key features of the traumatic event.
  • Having negative thoughts about oneself or the world.
  • Directing blame at oneself or others in an exaggerated manner.
  • Experiencing ongoing negative emotions of fear, anger, guilt, or shame.
  • Isolating oneself socially.

While symptoms vary from person to person, PTSD interferes with aspects of the individual’s daily life, such as work and relationships.

Some PTSD statistics include:3

  • PTSD affects approximately 3.5% of adults in the United States each year.
  • Adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 have an 8% lifetime prevalence of PTSD.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD.
  • U.S. Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans/Alaska Natives have higher rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites.

The good news is that PTSD is a treatable disorder. Mental health professionals may use psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of the two to treat PTSD.

If you or a loved one needs help for PTSD and or substance misuse or addiction, American Addiction Centers (AAC) offers several treatment programs, including treatment for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression and trauma-informed therapy that addresses childhood trauma, trauma experienced by Veterans and first responders, and more.

Call AAC at to speak to one of our compassionate and knowledgeable admissions navigators to learn more about the treatment options available to you or a loved one.

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