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A Look At PTSD Awareness Day

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National PTSD Awareness Day is observed annually on June 27 to recognize the effects  post-traumatic stress has on the lives of those affected by it.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD ) is a common disorder due to witnessing a trauma such as death, war, physical or sexual assault, accidents or any event(s) mind perceives as threatening. It was once a condition that was attributed only to returning combat veterans, but more and more the condition is diagnosed in those who have experienced violent crime or lived through catastrophic events.

awareness dayThe United States Senate established PTSD Awareness Day in 2010 to designate a day of awareness as a tribute to Army Staff Sgt. Joe Biel of the North Dakota National Guard. Biel suffered from PTSD and took his life in April 2007 after returning to North Dakota following his second tour of duty in the Iraq War. Biel’s birthday, June 27, was chosen to mark PTSD Awareness Day and honor his memory.

South Florida psychologist Dr. Dara Bushman has years of experiencing treating individuals with PTSD.

According to Bushman:

  • The amount of people experiencing PTSD is much greater than statistics as people often feel a stigma or judgment experiencing symptoms of PTSD, often not reporting it.  It often occurs by itself or with depression and substance abuse.
  • Many people are not aware that they may be experiencing PTSD, but will have severe symptoms that interfere with daily activities such as sleeping, eating or working.
  • A mind, experiencing PTSD, is reading old data or memories as if it is currently happening.

“When experiencing PTSD it’s as if you are watching tv and the words are coming out, but the mouth is moving with different timing,” Bushman says.

“I had a patient who was having strong reactions (shaking, nausea, heart palpitations) whenever he heard July 4th fireworks.  He had been in Iraq two years prior. Every time he was hearing firework his mind was thinking something was needing to be done to “fix the gun fire,” she added.

In session, Dr. Dara uses Rapid Resolution Therapy to help the mind understand that the trauma is no longer happening, and therefore eliminating emotions and flashbacks.

“Rapid Resolution Therapy is an amazing and transformative method to treat PTSD.  I am seeing someone suffering how may even have gone through months or years of traditional therapy have reprievement in one- maybe two sessions,” she added.

If you have questions for Dr. Dara you can send them to us, or directly to Dr. Dara:

Dr. Dara Bushman, Psy.D., NBCCH, RRT