PTSD Isn’t Just for Soldiers Anymore
by Anita Agers-Brooks
We interact with people affected by post-traumatic stress disorder every day, although we may not always realize it. We now know PTSD doesn’t only affect soldiers and military personnel. But sadly, even those triggered by past events may not always understand themselves. This is why June as PTSD Awareness Month is so important.
While writing my book Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, I interviewed professional counselors, as well as sufferers. Added to my research, I was surprised at some of the statistical data pointing to people impacted by the symptoms of PTSD, a very normal reaction to traumatizing stress.
- Experts estimate at least 7 out of 100 people will develop PTSD at some point in their lives.
- About 5.2 million people develop PTSD in any given year.
- Approximately 10% of women develop PTSD sometime in their lives.
- Women are more likely to develop PTSD after childhood abuse, sexual trauma, or spousal abuse.
- About 4% of men will wrestle the demon of PTSD.
- Men are most likely to fight PTSD after accidents, physical assaults, combat, natural disaster, or witnessing death or serious injury.
If you or someone you know suspects PTSD is triggering symptoms, schedule time with a professional counselor or therapist right away. And in between sessions, besides following professional advice, remember what I learned from multiple Mayo Clinic doctors who shared three healing predictors.
- Have faith in something or Someone greater than yourself.
- Have a positive and determined attitude.
- Have a strong support network.
I also gained many insights as I interviewed those who know the battle. One powerful process was shared by many. Meditate on Scripture, such as Psalm 23 and Philippians 4:13. Slowly read each word, taking turns focusing on each individual one.
The human mind cannot think two polar opposite thoughts simultaneously. So when you are focused on the positive power of God’s Word, it’s more challenging to concentrate on painful thoughts. By focusing on different words, deeper insights are brought to light.
No matter what we struggle with, help and hope are available. Even if we’re triggered and feel abandoned, God is with us, we are not alone.
Do you know anyone who battles triggers from the past?
Anita Agers-Brooks is a business/life coach, international speaker, and award-winning author, inspiring people to make fresh starts with fresh faith. Her new book is Exceedingly: Spiritual Strategies for Living on Purpose, with Purpose, and for an Abundant Purpose. Find her at anitabrooks.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.