• June is PTSD Awareness Month

    June is national PTSD Awareness month. For many, the concept of PTSD is linked to military service. 

    The reality however, is that this disorder can affect anyone. 

    In the US, approximately 7-8% of adults will experience PTSD in their lifetimes, although many of us who work with trauma believe this is likely an underestimation. 

    Prevalence of PTSD among LGBTQIA+ groups tends to be higher given they are exposed to more discrimination, violence and abuse and have less access to care and support. Among trans and gender diverse individuals, the rates of PTSD range from 17-42% and among LGB the rates range from 1.3-48%. 

    After a traumatic incident it is normal to have sleep trouble, disturbing dreams, disturbing memories of the event pop up unexpectedly and to be more reactive or numbed out than usual. It is when these types of symptoms continue past a month and cause impairments in functioning that a person qualifies for a diagnosis of PTSD.

    It is very important to remember what is experienced as traumatic by one person may not be experienced as disturbing for another person, neither experience is more or less valid. 

    The more traumatic experiences one has in their life, the more likely they are to suffer from PTSD as well as a host of other health issues. 

    How to find help: You can search for providers in your area by visiting either the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress at www.aaets.org or by searching for a Certified EMDR therapists at www.EMDRIA.org. 

    There is also a program called Give An Hour in which therapists offer free weekly therapy services to people who fall into several categories, check out their website at GIveAnHour.org.