Last week, in collaboration with my very good friend and colleague, Mr. Juan Hernández, M.ed., LPC, we presented the first part of an article on Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD); causes and effects of which play a more important role in the maintenance of mental health.
This week, in continuation with part II; We present you with information about this very urgent condition that affects many of our people in the Lower Rio Grande … Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).
The symptoms of PTSD have been known since the time of the ancient Greeks, and it has had many names badociated with the disorder … "Shell Shock", etc .; and was most often attributed to military veterans. It was not until the 1980s that the term PTSD was used; as you learned more about the disorder as a result of extreme stress and stressful events.
It is known that 70 percent of the US populations. UU They have experienced some type of traumatic event in their lives … approximately 223.4 million. Approximately 20 percent of these people develop PTSD; 44.7 million who were or are fighting against PTSD.
It is estimated that 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Approximately 3.6 percent of US adults between the ages of 18 and 54 (5.2 million) have PTSD over the course of a given year. Among our Military Veterans, almost 31 percent of Vietnam Veterans; 10 percent of Desert Storm Veterans and 11 percent of Afghanistan War Veterans are experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
In our location in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, it is estimated that there are 36,000 people suffering from PTSD; 78,000, 7.8 percent; will experience PTSD during the course of their lives. Most of these people will not receive treatment because of their condition.
Gang violence has increased the risk to many people and their families throughout our border area, and the consequences have been more devastating. An example of this is Cameron's case.
Cameron was a married man of 32 years; employed as a police officer for the past 4 years. He was referred to counseling for depression and excessive alcohol consumption. During the first visit, Cameron stated in a soft tone, "If you had to see what I see every day, you would be drinking too." His wife added, "He can not sleep at night, he is restless and awake." screaming or crying. "
Cameron admitted to getting angry and provoked arguments and fights at home and at work.After a level of trust was established, he opened and without emotion said:" It has been bad now for a few months. I still think it's my fault that they killed my partner, that he could have done something. "Both had been sent to help confront a dangerous gang known for violence and drug trafficking, Cameron clearly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mental health professionals along the US-Mexico border are now tasked with developing and providing effective evaluation and evidence-based treatment for people who meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder Due to life-threatening events, men, women and children directly exposed to the war on drugs, displacement, kidnapping, torture, mbad murder and physical and badual abuse are increasingly found in police stations, hospitals, centers of detention and mental health centers in the Rio Grande Valley.
In addition, lifeguards, law enforcement agencies and health professionals are also affected by a trauma that directly or indirectly causes mental and physical anguish that sometimes leads to exhaustion. Success in the treatment and management of PTSD requires understanding the amazing effect of PTSD on relationships, health, work, self-esteem and society. It also includes the promotion of funds and research to better serve those diagnosed with PTSD who live in the Rio Grande Valley.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines PTSD as "a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shock, fear or dangerous event." Not all people who experience a traumatic event will have PTSD. With the right support and intervention, some people can recover within a month.
However, problematic symptoms may continue in some cases requiring evaluation by a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Advanced Practice Nurse, Licensed Professional Counselor, or Authorized Clinical Social Worker to make a diagnosis of PTSD.
Once diagnosed, an individual with PTSD can begin to receive treatment interventions such as medication, psychotherapy, and support services. A doctor can prescribe medications for depression, anxiety and nightmares. Psychotherapists can provide evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD such as Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) lists several evidence-based psychotherapies for children at risk or with post-traumatic stress disorder such as Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and the culturally modified treatment centered on the trauma (CM-TFT). Recently, some medical facilities in the USA. UU They have been using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for the treatment of PTSD; the application of pure oxygen to the patient, and that has shown possible success in alleviating the symptoms.
Equally important is the family and community resources that offer ongoing psychosocial and interpersonal support. Unfortunately, there are barriers to access and sustain recovery.
Michael Lohmuller, badociate researcher of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs reported in 2014 on PTSD in civilian populations that resemble the Rio Grande Valley. He wrote about the increase in violent injuries and the risk factors for PTSD in two major cities in the US. UU "On a broad level, these communities of Atlanta and Chicago have much in common with their Mexican counterpart: they are extremely poor, are plagued by inequality and crime violence, and have limited access to mental health hospitals or services." (Council of Affairs Hemispheric, August 22, 2014).
Similarly, the Texas Tribune published an article on January 19, 2016 identifying the counties of Cameron, Willacy and Hidalgo as among the poorest in the state, and anyone living in the Rio Grande Valley since 2006 has witnessed the escalation of violence in Matamoros and Reynosa Tamaulipas, Mexico.
And according to Mental Health America, a national non-profit organization, Texas ranks 46th in access to mental health services. Another problem is the shortage of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals in rural areas with little or no knowledge of the local culture. The lack of treatment often leads to unhappy marriages, loss of employment due to anxiety or anger, poor school performance and substance abuse.
Regardless of apparent insurmountable odds, advocacy groups and organizations such as the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), the National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA), the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network ( NCTSN) and the National Center for PTSD have monitored state and governmental spending on mental health, arguing more funds, numerous resources for professionals and the community, offer listings of certified professionals to treat PTSD, and encouraging new research to improve effectiveness and the delivery of the intervention.
Valley citizens may also advocate for mental health and awareness funds from PTSD reporting, state or federal, or actively participate in a defense group of their choice.
If you or a loved one in If you experience the symptoms badociated with an alleged PTSD condition, the help is just a phone call. The Tropical Texas Behavioral Health Crisis Line is 1-877-289-7199, and for Veterans and Veterans' relatives, contact the Veterans Administration Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or send a message from text to 838255. These lines are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and staff dedicated to your disposition. Until next time, Stay healthy, my friends!