Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most common mental health disorder after depression, but it's often left undiagnosed and untreated.
While not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD, about five to 10 per cent of Australians will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.
This means that at any one time more than one million Australians have PTSD.
June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day.
A day to raise awareness, to support those affected and to learn more about the signs. Many people that have PTSD don't realise it, and only half of those affected will seek treatment.
Learning to see the signs is the first step to better mental health.
The main signs of PTSD include:
- Re-living the traumatic event through distressing, unwanted memories, vivid nightmares and/or flashbacks.
- Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, including activities, places, people, thoughts or feelings that bring back memories of the trauma.
- Negative thoughts and feelings such as fear, anger, guilt, or feeling flat or numb a lot of the time.
- Feeling wound-up, which might mean having trouble sleeping or concentrating, feeling angry or irritable, taking risks, being easily startled, and/or being constantly on the lookout for danger
PTSD can have a devastating impact on people's lives, but recovery and renewal are possible.
This PTSD Awareness Day, help us help others to see PTSD.
Phoenix Australia is Australia's National Centre of Excellence in Posttraumatic Mental Health.
Their staff are international experts in posttraumatic mental health and advocates for the use of evidence-based responses following trauma to reduce the mental health effects on survivors, their families and the community.
Phoenix Australia aims to raise awareness about PTSD and the impact of trauma, because if more people know about PTSD, then more sufferers can get the help they need.