UBH Denton Says Women With PTSD Often Overlooked
UBH Denton works intimately with military members of both sexes, and believes that there are some subtle differences between treating the disorder known as PTSD in men and women. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has been the discussion of many mental health care professionals and laypersons in recent years. It’s a tragically common condition among those who fight for this nation.
Those who serve this country often leave the military with some psychological wounds. Going into battle is stressful, even for the healthiest and strongest adults. While PTSD is the most well-known disorder facing veterans, there are other possible mental health issues as well. The clinic is addressing these problems through its Freedom Care Military Program, designed to aid military with lingering difficulties. Services are available to soldiers, veterans, retirees, and their families. Some issues addressed in these programs are PTSD, combat stress, grief/loss, and family separation.
PTSD, the most common mental health problem among veterans, is difficult to diagnose. This is partly because veterans either don’t recognize the symptoms or don’t want to talk about the problems and appear weak. It is common for symptoms to not appear right away, and when they later arise, individuals might not connect the symptoms to the trauma. Sometimes there is fear of retribution from their peers or superiors as well. However, with military suicide rates on the rise, PTSD is a concern that needs immediate and serious attention.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD can occur in anyone, at any point in his/her life. UBH Denton agrees that the disorder may arise after experiencing a dangerous or traumatic situation. Not everyone who experiences violence develops PTSD, however. The effects can begin soon after the event, or it may take weeks or months, possibly years, for signs to appear. There are a variety of possible effects in any one person, and they fall under three categories. The first category of symptoms is related to re-experiencing the trauma.
• Unexplained or unreasonable fears
• Understandable fears experienced to extremes
• Inability to sleep
• Flashbacks (recurring memories or re-living the trauma)
• Thoughts of hurting self or others
UBH Denton Examines Symptoms that can also tend toward avoidance:
• Emotional numbness
• Retreating from social interaction
• Memory lapses
• Lost interest in once joyful activities
Further, UBH Denton notes that some symptoms display a sense of hyperarousal:
• Being easily startled
• Constant over-awareness of environment
• Angry outbursts
In order for PTSD to be diagnosed, there must be at least one re-experiencing symptom, three avoidance symptoms, and two hyperarousal symptoms. This disorder doesn’t affect only men. With increasing numbers of women in the ranks, their numbers are represented accordingly.
Further, many female members are admitting to being sexually traumatized during their service. As a result, a new subtype has emerged: MST, or military sexual trauma. In a recent article in the Legislative Gazette, one in five female military personnel answered “yes” when questioned about having experienced any form of MST. Government agencies and health care communities are moving into place to aid these women.
Legislation has been introduced by Senator Kevin Parker that will provide many needed services to veterans, including assistance for homelessness and chemical dependency. One of the bills speaks to the issue of women and MST. The bill would help raise awareness of sexual trauma among military personnel and require the armed services to provide counseling and support to women who’ve been victimized.
The bill is receiving a great deal of support from activists and helping professionals. With more than 85,000 veterans in 2012 receiving treatment for issues stemming from sexual trauma in the military, the problem is now considered an epidemic and warrants legislation, and the Pentagon agrees.
UBH Denton Wants to Help PTSD Victims
Research shows that one of the best forms of treatment for PTSD is psychotherapy, which allows survivors of trauma to talk through their experiences and process their thoughts and feelings with a licensed mental health professional. Another effective option in conjunction with talk therapy is medication, as is appropriate for the individual.
UBH Denton understands the need for increased services for the women who have been sexually traumatized. Their program designed exclusively for women was created with the desire to assist female trauma victims. The clinic feels it is important to support and care for the individuals who have risked their lives to protect this country. Likewise, the clinic and its administration support all legislation toward that end currently being discussed in Congress.
Regardless of which treatment option is chosen, UBH Denton ensures individuals that there is hope for healing. The most important factor in a survivor’s recovery is the level of support s/he receives, particularly directly after the trauma. That is why bills like those currently under discussion are so important, as they contain an awareness component and mandatory support for victims.
With all this in mind, UBH Denton strives to maintain effective programming for service members, both male and female, and stresses that anyone who is experiencing the above symptoms or sees it in others seek help immediately.
University Behavioral Health, founded in 2005, is a private psychiatric clinic in northern Texas that services a diverse clientele with a wide range of mental health needs. UBH Denton is committed to the needs of military personnel as well as the community at large. Visit UBH Denton’s Professional Profile for more information.
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