June is PTSD Awareness Month

TW: Trauma and PTSD

What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and was not a formally recognized disorder until 1980. That's only 40 years! PTSD is the result of our biological, emotional, and psychological responses being overwhelmed by a traumatic event that is too large for us to comprehend. This event is so severe that it shocks our systems, leaving an imprint on our central nervous system. 

I regularly hear people discuss something they have been through and say, "but I don't think it was that traumatic,". Wishing an event was not traumatic for us, does not work. Our bodies make the decision about the trauma it has experienced, not us. 

Who suffers from PTSD?

Anyone can. Healthcare workers, first responders, military personel, adults, children, men, women, etc. While we cannot narrow down who will experience trauma that will cause PTSD, because each set of circumstances will differ, we can narrow down the symptoms, as the human response to trauma has remained highly consistent. 

Symptoms of PTSD can vary among individuals and include intrusive memories, avoidance of trauma related thoughts, feelings, or external reminders, heightened anxiety, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, risky or self destructive behaviors, and more. 

The trouble with PTSD is how do we learn to feel safe enough inside of our own bodies again?

The first step to healing from PTSD is finding a therapist you can trust. A good trauma therapist will help develop a sense of calm, trust, and safety. This is crucial when we begin to explore parts of ourselves we may never have before, or never wanted to revisit. It is ok to find another therapist at anytime, and to address your concerns moving forward. 

The healing process of PTSD may take time, but being able to feel safe inside your own body again while your brain begins to make different connections?



The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

It Didn't Start with You by Mark Wolynn 

Traumatized by Kati Morton 


Dr. Paul Conti: Therapy, Treating Trauma, and Other Life Challenges 


C. M. W. D. F. S. F. (2011). PTSD among military personnel. International review of psychiatry (Abingdon, England). Retrieved June 10, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.gov

Yehuda R. Hoge CW. McFarlane AC. Vermetten E. Lanius RA. Nievergelt CM. Hobfoll SE. Koenen KC. Neylan TC. Hyman SE., (2015, October 8). Post-traumatic stress disorder. Nature reviews. Disease primers. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27189040/

Van Der Holk, B. (1987). Psychological trauma. American Psychiatric Press, Inc. 

Stephanie Dunning Stephanie is a current Social Work student at IUPUI and the administrative assistant at INLOW Counseling, located in Noblesville, IN.