June 27th is PTSD Awareness Day – Help spread the word that effective PTSD treatments are available!

What is PTSD?

PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) can develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

Personal factors, like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender, can affect whether or not a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.

It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months.

If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later, or they may come and go over time.  

*US Dept of Veterans Affairs, PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (2020, June 26).

Are you in crisis? 
Call 911 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 
Find a PTSD Provider (For Veterans):  https://www.ptsd.va.gov/gethelp/find_therapist.asp

Visit the National Center for PTSD website to learn even more about PTSD and treatment http://www.ptsd.va.gov

Wondering which PTSD treatment is right for you? 
Use this PTSD Treatment Decision Aid to learn about and compare treatments.
The VA also offers these online programs ~ support you can access on your own:
If someone close to you has experienced a traumatic event, it can be hard to know how to support them.  If you or your loved one needs help right away:
  • Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) anytime to talk to a counselor. Press “1” if you are a Veteran. The call is confidential (private) and free.
  • Chat online with a counselor anytime at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
These resources aren’t only for the person who’s struggling. Family, friends, and loved ones can also reach out to get advice, help, and support. And hotlines aren’t just for crisis situations — it’s okay to call or chat if you just need someone to talk to.
Additional resources available for family and friends:
Don’t forget, we are here to help!  Contact Veterans Services for North Andover and Boxford at 978-688-9525 or veterans@northandoverma.gov.