Last week, Beacon Lens’ blog post explored the latest developments around Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in honor of June as PTSD Awareness Month.
However, there is an element to PTSD that doesn’t get its due: Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) which, in brief, is any positive change that results from a life-altering or traumatic event.
Since the dawn of time, humankind has realized that there were negative consequences to experiencing overwhelming stressful situations.
For example, reactions to wartime trauma have many names: soldier’s heart, shell shock, combat fatigue and, since the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III, 1980), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
It is frustrating as a retired Army infantry officer to see people assume that veterans, particularly combat vets, live with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Most do not.
This perception is unfair to veterans, perpetuates a larger misunderstanding of PTSD, and diverts attention away from a larger population in need. Illustrating this problem, a combat vet recently told me about an ill-informed supervisor who replied, “I don’t need you going all PTSD on them…”
Achieving positive psychological growth from adversity Behavioral health was an issue we avoided during my 20 years as an Army Infantry officer. It wasn’t until I began working for a national behavioral health company nine years ago that I understood the value of timely behavioral health care for our military. Through Chris Kyle’s story, America saw three key elements of behavioral health support that can lead not only to recovery but also to growth for an individual exposed to extreme physical and mental trauma, often referred to as post-traumatic growth. For many, that education came overnight. One recent box office hit gave more than 25 million Americans a realistic view of the importance of behavioral health support for the recovery…