Article and video clip originally featured on WFLA, video available below!
June 27th is PTSD Awareness Day. After a traumatic event, most people have painful memories. For many people, the effects of the event fade over time. But for others, the memories, thoughts and feelings don’t go away – even months or years after the event is over. That’s known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mental health experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD and others do not. If stress reactions do not improve over time and they disrupt everyday life, it is important to seek help to determine if PTSD is present. The purpose of PTSD Awareness Month (June) and day (the 27th) is to encourage everyone to raise public awareness of PTSD and effective treatments. We can all help those affected by PTSD.
John Alvarez is a retired Air Force Colonel, who struggled with PTSD. Following a helicopter crash in the 1990s, John lost his leg, and had to be rescued by Seal Team 4. Years later, one of the pilots involved in his rescue was killed in combat. That event triggered John’s symptoms.
Dr. Carrie Elk, with The Elk Institute for Psychological Health & Performance, helps veterans like John to unlock those trigger memories and deal with them. The Elk Institute is a non-profit 501(c)3 established to provide individual and group education, consultation, treatment, and clinical research service to the military and veteran community locally, nationally and internationally. The Institute provides services at no cost to the individual war fighter, relying on tax-deductible donations to continue to do so.