PTSD and civilians

Peter Cornelis Paints to help him deal with PTSD (CBS National)

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – You don’t have to work in a war zone to suffer the effects of PTSD. It can be triggered by any traumatic event: from a car crash, to abuse, to an unimaginable loss.
Dr. David Williamson works in the Trinity Medical Center Emergency Room. He says he sees PTSD issues more often than not. “For instance last night I had a lady who last year had an infant son pass away at five months old. She now has a six month old and she came in because she was very anxious. She was very nervous and very depressed and tearful because it was approaching the birth date of the child who passed away.”
Medical problems can also trigger PTSD. Peter Cornelis was diagnosed after suffering several strokes.
He explains, “You’re always worried about having it happen again.”
Doctor Ian Kronish with Columbiana University Medical Center says these kinds of fears and resulting PTSD are common. “Patients have a lot of re-experiencing of the event which are things like having nightmares or flashback”
Medication and group therapy can help patients work through the disorder. But it can take a long time before people experiencing symptoms are ready to seek face-to-face help. Non-profit PTSD United is launching a new social media site to bridge the gap.
CEO John Rizzo describes the site as a mash up between the user familiarity of Facebook combined with the anonymity of Twitter. The goal of the site is for PTSD suffers and their families to meet like minded people who understand the struggle.
Eventually the goal is to get those fighting the condition the help they need.
Rizzo explains, “Once they do take that step and get professional help we want them to come back we want them to help other users and people who are still dealing with things and be an inspiration… That’s where our power is is in the people and we want to keep it that way.”
The key to overcoming PTSD is identifying the problem and getting help.
Cornelis says, “Life is still good, life gets better, even with the symptoms of PTSD.”

You can learn more about PTSD United and their Social Media Site by clicking here.

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