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Understanding PTSD June 14, 2022

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June is PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Month, a month where we should recognize victims of PTSD and acknowledge the struggles they go through. PTSD starts with a traumatic event, something that is shocking, dangerous or leads a person to believe their life or someone else’s is in danger. 70% of adults will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. This trauma could be from sexual or physical assault, combat, disaster or witnessing death or injury. And 20% of the people experiencing those events will develop PTSD, according to therecoveryvillage.com. Post-traumatic stress disorder results in the brain’s inability to process a traumatic event, it causes the brain to get stuck in “danger mode.” The brain then stays on high alert and causes the body to send out stress signals even when it’s no longer in danger.

The amygdala, which is the part of the brain that manages fear and emotion tends to be more active in people with PTSD and the hippocampus actually shrinks by 8%. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for regulating emotion as well as sorting and storing old and new memories.

Any given year there are about 12 million adults in the United States that struggle with PTSD. This can affect a person’s ability to work, perform day to day activities, and interact with friend and family. It can cause nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, anxiety, social withdrawal, emotional distress, shame, guilt and more. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to last forever, some people even recover within a few months. For others, it can take much longer, but there are treatments that can help those with PTSD and make the symptoms less prevalent and more bearable. Different treatment options include traditional therapy, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, stress inoculation training and medications.

The Salon Professional Academy – Rapid City is taking time to acknowledge those struggling with PTSD. Join us on Thursday, June 23rd from 4:30 – 7:30 for guest speakers, food trucks, music, giveaways and a runway show all centered around Post-traumatic stress disorder. If you or someone you love is dealing with PTSD, take a night off to relax, enjoy some food and music and know that we’re standing by you, rooting for your recovery!

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