June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Month. We bring awareness to those who have PTSD. We encourage people to reach out to others and provide support. We need to remove the stigma associated with this disorder.

According to research about 3.5% of adults in the U.S. have PTSD. It can occur in people of any ethnicity, nationality, culture or age. Women are at higher risk than men, with double the likelihood of having the disorder.

Those with PTSD may have nightmares, flashbacks and may relieve the trauma again. Some develope insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks. Those who suffer from this disorder may have decreased concentration. They may also develop depression. Some people with PTSD may suffer from irritability and agitation. Some may withdraw from family and isolate themselves. People who have experienced trauma may suffer from guilt. They may develop a negative self image. Some may lead to risky behaviors. Some may turn to alcohol or illicit drug use.

If you know of someone with these symptoms, ask questions. Be sensitive about their feelings and emotions. Allow them to have some control over their lives. Be patient with someone who have experienced trauma and may not be ready to participate in family activities.

Continue to listen and help them. Be nonjudgmental. Be empathetic and refer them to a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner or Therapist.