Saturday 27 June is International Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day.
In reality, we should not be speaking about PTSD. Rather, we should use the term post-traumatic stress reactions (PTSRs), with emphasis on the plural. These are normal reactions to traumatic events, which are events that threaten the physical and/or psychological well-being of the person or someone close. These reactions are individual. They can be psychological, physical, or a combination of both. Drugs deal only with the symptoms, not with the underlying issues. People need to talk and process.
It is important to note that PTSRs do not only occur in the military. They occur in every traumatic situation, that is, personal traumas, family traumas, natural disasters, migration, torture, and situations too numerous to mention. Virtually every person experiencing a traumatic event has PTSRs of one sort or another.
It is important that processing of the trauma takes place as soon as possible after the traumatic event. Still, it is useful to work with the traumas even years, or decades, after the events occur. This is important for the functioning of the person and his/her family.
Also, the person can and will transmit the trauma to other people in the vicinity and to future generations. This is very well known.
A number of organizations work with PTSRs. We are one of them. We train people without previous education in these fields to work with others in our program known as Pragmatic Empowerment Training (PET). Please see our website, www.cwwpp.org, for details.