According to the Mayo Clinic, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the triggering event.
• 7% of people experience PTSD in their lifetime. (Footnote: Department of Veterans Affairs)
• 30% of first responders develop behavioral health conditions, such as depression and PTSD.
(Footnote: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
• Veterans are 1.5x more likely to commit suicide than private citizens. (Footnote: AARP)
• First responders are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in the line of duty. (Footnote: Ruderman Family Foundation)
While most people who experience a traumatic event are able to improve with time and good self-care, not everyone is so lucky. Some individuals experience worsening symptoms over time, effecting their daily functioning and relationships for months or even years.
Effective, timely treatment is critical to improve function and restore hope. While PTSD is traditionally presented as a disorder that can only be coped with, MASH Ministries views PTSD as an injury – an injury that can heal. PTSD does not make you a monster. While scars of your struggle may remain, you can find hope through Jesus Christ.