What to Do For PTSD Awareness Month

What to Do For PTSD Awareness Month

June is the month to spread the word of what post-traumatic stress disorder is, a mental health condition that leaves you in a state of fear as a response to the trauma you have experienced. Not everyone is aware of how severe and life-changing have PTSD can be. By spreading awareness and educating others on what PTSD is this month, you can make a difference in helping those currently suffering with it and helping the movement of new treatments.

Raising Awareness

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, there are about 8 million people in the United States that have PTSD. Even though there are PTSD treatments available to help those struggling with this mental illness, many do not want to do anything about it. The first thing you can do in June for PTSD is to help raise awareness of the condition. It is important that veterans or civilians who have gone through serious trauma are aware of the various treatment options available that can help lead to a better quality of life.

You can accomplish spreading awareness by filling out a pledge form on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website. You first provide the contact information of your local, regional, or national organization that you plan on working with in regards to PTSD awareness. Then, you check how your organization will spread awareness whether it is an information table, presentation, through social media, community conversation, etc. There is then a space to talk about your plans or ideas for how you and your organization plan on sharing awareness. Once this is done, the department will post organization names and URLs on the PTSD Awareness section of their website.

Spread the Word

A second suggestion the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers are ways to spread the word about what PTSD is. You can do this by looking at the PTSD awareness calendar on the website that tells you every day what you can do in June to spread the word of PTSD such as asking a veteran how they are doing, hosting a PTSD awareness event, sharing your video about PTSD symptoms, etc. There are also two forms that give suggestions of how to spread the word through different mediums like through social media, at home, at work or school, in your community, in your clinics, or how to continue learning about PTSD.

The website shows an example of how to write a blog post about PTSD as well as a sample proclamation. There are social media post suggestions you can put on your profile as well as pictures the website provides that you can put on your profile. The website also offers flyers and banners that you can print out and post anywhere you want. There are even YouTube videos on PTSD and treatments to watch, share, and to ask TV and radio stations to show.

Partner With the National Center for PTSD

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs gives a list of organizations that are committed to helping them spread awareness and you can join them as well. By clicking on each link, you can learn about each organization, where they are located in your area, and how you can help them spread awareness. This will help you better be able to fill out your pledge knowing which organizations work to spread PTSD awareness.

Understand PTSD

In order to better help spread awareness about PTSD, it helps to better understand the condition to give people the answer to questions that have always been stirring in their minds. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers a page all about the basics of PTSD that states the different types, who develops it, the symptoms in adults and children, if people with PTSD will get better, and treatment options available.

There is also a booklet about understanding PTSD and treatment and free courses that the department provides that you can earn education credits for. To help understand the treatment, there is a whiteboard video about knowing which treatments are best for you and a decision aid to help discover the best treatment options. You can also learn about the website AboutFace where veterans, family members, and clinicians speak about the life impact of PTSD treatments.

Get Support

In order for others to know where to get help for their symptoms, it would help you to know where to look. If someone is in a crisis, make sure they first call 911, then go to the nearest emergency room, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you are a veteran battling PTSD, you can contact the Veterans Crisis Line at the same number pressing 1. You can also send a text message to 838255 or chat online at the Confidential Veterans Chat. You can also learn through the department how to find a good provider through the internet or the phone as well as what to look for in a therapist. You can also learn about different hotlines that families and friends can use to learn more about this mental illness as well as coping strategies for family members when it comes to deployment and when a family member goes to war. Even if you do not have PTSD, there is no harm in learning more about it so that you can teach others how serious it is and how to tackle the challenges that may appear.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How Somatic Experiencing can Help with PTSD

How Somatic Experiencing can Help with PTSD

There are many ways Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect the life of an alcoholic. Often, symptoms are overlooked and the trauma persists to keep its hold. First, it’s important to find out what’s actually causing the PTSD. Symptoms can be caused by dangerous life-threatening situations that require any means to survive. For example, those in the military, dealing with the effects of being at war. There can be negative childhood trauma that is caused by something like bullying or being misunderstood. This can include seeing parents go through a divorce, death in the family, and other difficult times in life. There are those too who suffered through a sexual assault, mental or physical abuse and other events that no one should ever have to experience. With each of these traumatic events, those affected may not have been able to process what had happened thoroughly. At this point, if and when the victim gets triggered by the identified event, a feeling of unease unexpectedly begins reliving the trauma all over again. It doesn’t have to be this way and it is impossible to move on from such trauma.

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a holistic therapy of “resetting” the nervous system. This is done by reestablishing the nervous systems rhythm, meaning that there must be a break in the natural flow. This kind of treatment should always be executed by a professional with a background in SE. Going through the experience and pinpointing each feeling for what it is will allow the patient to recognize what is going on in their bodies. The doctor conducting the session will ask that the patient embrace the fear with respect. The act of letting the body physically feel what’s happening instead of mentally can establish a new reaction. The stimulation that is brought on by triggering the PTSD, with time, will regulate. The differences between the ups and downs will show signs of improvement, settling back down to the baseline.

Once the patient can become at peace with the identified event there will be less of a physical and mental response to the PTSD. This gives way to new feelings and new events to take place. Lacking the ability to move forward stalls the growth process. This will become a never-ending cycle of reacting out in an unhealthy manner each time a trigger occurs. If there is a break in the cycle there can be many aspects of life that will be interrupted as well. This includes appetite, sleep, digestion, and other main body functions that a person needs to survive. When new situations arise, as they will, the only way to push forward in this process is to complete the old. It’s not about forgetting what had happened but letting the body heal properly. As humans, we don’t get to erase the past, but we can let go of the power it has over us.

Our holistic approach at Enlightened Solutions gives our patients coping mechanisms and insight into painful past or events. Processing trauma is a key factor in moving forward and we are here to help. For more questions call: 833-801-5483.


Tips for Managing PTSD

Tips for Managing PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) is very common with individuals who are in recovery from addiction.  It is an experience of reliving a traumatic life-event that has occurred in the past.  PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans but can also occur with a myriad of other experiences, including, but not limited to, physical fights and rape, car accidents, natural disasters, unusual health challenges, naming just a few.  

When dealing with PTSD, it is very important to be aware of the principle of trauma-informed, especially when choosing a therapeutic practitioner.  To be trauma-informed is the recognition of the effects of trauma on a person’s reactions and life experiences.  This is a critical awareness when dealing with PTSD to mitigate the false beliefs that can form about the self of the person dealing with PTSD.  To be trauma-informed about PTSD is to recognize that the experiences of PTSD is not who the sufferer is.  

Once some foundational work has been done with a therapeutic practitioner, individuals can be an active participate in their own ongoing healing from PTSD through the practice of mindfulness.  Once the baseline awareness of a PTSD response has been established, the person with PTSD can be cued to recognize when they will need to access mindfulness tools.  

 

The Frozen Lemon

It can be supportive to use a frozen lemon to break a PTSD episode.  This simple tool is very powerful for bringing the person experiencing PTSD out of the mind and back into the body.  By holding a frozen lemon in one’s hand and closing the fist around it, the intensity of sensation lessens the hold of the mind on the past experience, bringing it down to a level of manageability.  

 

Making the Image Black and White

When the PTSD takes someone into a critical moment of the traumatic experience, use the imagination to turn the image into black and white.  Many people find that this will reduce the intensity of the experience.

 

Changing the Position

When the PTSD memory involves another person, the person experiencing it can engage the imagination to change the position of placement of themselves and the other in the memory.  For example, if someone is standing over the person with PTSD and it makes them seem more powerful, the imagination can be engaged to make them stand below you, minimizing the power that they hold in the memory.  

 

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.


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Supporting A Loved One Who Has Experienced Sexual Assault

According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 109 seconds. Out of every 1,000 perpetrators, only 6 will end up in prison to pay for their crime.

 

Listen To Their Story

Our cultural environment tends to play the role of the non believer when it comes to listening to stories of sexual assault. We like to blame the victim for not doing enough to protect themselves or change the situation. Sexual assault is highly stigmatized in our society, leaving victims of sexual assault feeling a double dose of shame. One of the best things you can do if your loved one has experienced sexual assault is listen to them actively. Active listening means creating the space to totally hear what they have to say without interruption, question, or judgment. After they are done, thank them for sharing, and remind them you are hear to listen to them.

 

Learn More About Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is not just rape. Men and women are groped, mistreated, and physically/sexually abused each day. Around the country there are trainings on stopping sexual assault, caring for someone who has been sexually assaulted, and learning more about consent. Sexual assault can be traumatizing resulting in ongoing effects similar to those of PTSD which can include symptoms of depression and anxiety.

 

Encourage A Report

Millions of sexual assault survivors go without making an official report. Many feel a report only brings them more shame and judgment, that they are never taken seriously. A report should still be made, as well as a full physical inspection. Support them by telling them you’ll be by their side.

 

Understand Their Sensitivity

We live in a sex driven culture that often doesn’t consider the depth of its jokes. Understand that for years to come, your loved one might be sensitive to the hypersexuality around them. What might seem like a harmless joke may be a deeply disturbing trigger for them. Try to act respectful toward sex, sexuality, and topics of sexual violence.

 

Enlightened Solutions supports the treatment of substance use disorders which are co-occurring with mild or severe PTSD. Our facility is certified to treat dual diagnosis clients in order to meet all of their needs for recovery. Call us today to learn more about our programs, 833-801-5483.