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, with women twice as likely as men to experience it (10% vs 5% respectively).
Studies have shown that between 10-30% of veterans experience PTSD in their lifetime.
Prevalence of PTSD among LGBTQIA+ groups tends to be higher given that 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%.
It is very important to remember what is experienced as traumatic by one person may not be the same as for another, and that both are 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.
And there is often the misconception that PTSD is not treatable. But that is simply not true. There are a variety of therapies out there that have proven to be quite helpful in reducing symptoms or eliminating PTSD altogether.
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.ComprehensiveTherapyApproach.com .
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.