Today, I'm going to ask a very important question: what is PTSD? We often associate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with war veterans and people in similarly horrendous situations, but it's actually a much more common problem than we might realize. In fact, an estimated 7.8% of all Americans will experience PTSD at some point during their lifetimes, and about 5.2 million adults aged 18 to 54 have PTSD during the course of a year. (1)
So, how is PTSD such a common thing? Many different types of people with various backgrounds can experience different levels of the disorder for one reason or another; the condition can arise as a result of any type of traumatic event, like witnessing or going through sexual assault, violence or death. PTSD looks different on different people, and it takes different lengths of time to develop and cure. For one person, PTSD might mean having panic attacks in the middle of the night, but for another it might make it impossible to trust people, go into large crowds, or they just might experience way-too-high levels of paranoia.
PTSD is a serious ailment, and its symptoms are all-consuming in a way that makes it impossible to focus on anything else. It's not just an emotional thing, and it doesn't just exist inside of someone's head making them crazy. The effects of PTSD can lead to other physical issues such as poor cardiovascular health and gastrointestinal problems, as well as paralyzing episodes of fear and avoidance of situations that cause those types of episodes.
The scariest thing about PTSD is that its triggers are not universal. Like I said earlier, they can change completely from one victim to another; what completely incapacitates one person might seem like nothing to another. However, the effects of PTSD can be healed. It's very easy to think that, as a victim of PTSD, that one might never recover, but that's exactly what Freedom K9 is hoping to change.
Not only does PTSD make it difficult, if not impossible, to go about one's daily life, but getting help for the disorder is usually a long process, meaning that it's easy and common for people to not get the right help soon enough for PTSD to not start affecting other parts of their life. However, PTSD is not the end of the world. Its symptoms make it easy to feel otherwise, but at Freedom K9 we focus on breaking down victims' specific ailments so that they can actually recover, one day at a time. PTSD is something that's taking people's control over their lives away from them, and we're working to give that control back.