LAFAYETTE, La. — One in 11 people will be diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in their lifetime, according to the American Psychiatry Organization. Women are twice as likely to suffer from this condition.
Nicole Pousson describes the feelings of having an episode as having a constant fight inside your head and not knowing how your body will react in certain triggering situations.
“It’s like a war inside your head,” she said. “It’s constant battles with different things.”
She’s suffered from PTSD since her childhood and other events, including witnessing losing her husband to suicide. They had been together for 15 years.
She says not having control over your thoughts or how your body can react is the scariest part.
“You get into this situation and it’s kind of like your mind just goes chaotic and you don’t know what to do,” she said. “Certain situations will just make your mind go, like, crazy.”
Jessica Moody, LCSW is a full-time counselor at Victory Addiction Recovery Center. She says the symptoms and triggers vary from person to person.
“There’s a lot of confusion there,” said Moody. “There tends to be an immense amount of fear, lack of trust of self, and lack of trust with others, because again, not really knowing what’s going on.”
She says, generally speaking, triggers are anything that sparks a sudden reaction from someone. There are positive and negative triggers.
“Typically when we’re talking about PTSD, they’re not pleasant triggers,” she said. “They tend to be more distressing, and that's why we want to be aware of them and help individuals learn what their triggers are so they can be prepared to deal with them.”
She says a good way for police or first responders to handle situations with people with mental illness is to work with an expert of the disorder before approaching the person, given that it is hard to tell how someone will react, or what they are thinking.
KATC reached out to Veterans Affairs to find out what those who served and suffer from mental illness can do.
They submitted this statement:
We encourage any veteran, family member, or friend concerned about a veteran’s mental health to contact the veterans crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255. Trained professionals are also available at www.Veteranscrisisline.Net the lines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alexandria va health care system is here for our veteran community and has a wealth of mental health resources available.
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