MEDIA ALERT: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Resources Available For Consumers And Professionals
Through its resource center, toll-free 1-877-507-PTSD, and website www.PTSDAlliance.org, the PTSD Alliance offers free educational booklets, videos and other trauma-related resources for those at risk of developing PTSD, PTSD sufferers and their loved ones, frontline professionals who work with PTSD patients and trauma survivors, and the media. Launched in March 2000, the PTSD Alliance is the first national coalition dedicated to increasing awareness and promoting a better understanding of this common, serious and treatable health condition.
PTSD Alliance member organizations represent a spectrum of issues related to PTSD including trauma-related stress, anxiety disorders and women's healthcare: - Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) (advisor: Jerilyn Ross, ADAA President and CEO) - International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) (advisors: Edna Foa, University of Pennsylvania; and Rachel Yehuda, Bronx VA Medical Center and Mt Sinai, NY) - Sidran Traumatic Stress Foundation (advisors: Esther Giller, executive director and Elizabeth Vermilyea, training director) - American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (advisor: Deborah Horan) PTSD Alliance offerings include: - www.PTSDAlliance.org, providing general background on PTSD, trauma-related causes, signs and symptoms, myths, diagnosis and treatment; links to the member organizations, which offer additional education and training resources, and information on local support groups and referral services. - Patient Education Booklet and Video, addressing the myths about PTSD that keep many people from recognizing the problem and obtaining help. The booklet reviews causes, risk factors and symptom "clusters" for PTSD, and provides information on treatment options and how family and friends can provide support and help in the recovery process. - Guide For Frontline Professionals, offering an overview of PTSD including practical assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support strategies, and information on vicarious traumatization and self- care. The guide is appropriate for all frontline professionals including medical, healthcare and mental health practitioners; firefighters, law enforcement and emergency service personnel; social workers and clergy; and rape, domestic violence and substance abuse counselors.
Often associated with war veterans, PTSD is a complex disorder that can affect anyone who has experienced extreme trauma; been victimized or has witnessed a violent act; or has been repeatedly exposed to life-threatening situations. This includes survivors of rape or sexual assault, domestic abuse, childhood trauma, physical attacks, car accidents, school or workplace violence, natural disasters, or other unexpected, catastrophic, or psychologically distressing events, such as the September 11 terrorist attacks. Extreme trauma that can lead to the development of PTSD causes a person to feel intense fear, horror, or a sense of helplessness.
PTSD can be diagnosed if symptoms from the three classic "clusters" - reliving the event, avoiding reminders of the event, and being constantly on-guard for danger - last for one month or longer, and if they cause severe problems or distress at home or at work, or in general impair daily life.
Although PTSD symptoms usually appear within several weeks of the trauma, some people don't experience symptoms until months, even years, later. Once properly diagnosed, PTSD is treatable with psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both. However, PTSD sufferers often do not seek professional help because they don't associate their symptoms with a past traumatic experience, they try to avoid dealing with anything related to the traumatic event, or they feel helpless as to where to go for help.
The PTSD Alliance is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Inc.
PTSD Resource Centers: 877-507-PTSD and www.PTSDAlliance.org.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
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