TOPEKA (KSNT) – Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the more common mental illnesses in the county, yet it’s rarely talked about.

Stress is your body’s normal response to trauma, it’s not something out of the ordinary. In many ways, PTSD is similar to fight flight or freeze – but that stress reaction happens when there is no trauma present.

“The problem is your body gets stuck in that state of heightened awareness and certain things trigger it, and your brain keeps you there,” said Name Kansas Affiliate Development Specialist Arthur Summers.

PTSD impact one in five American adults who have experienced traumatic events according to PTSD United. Yet many who live with this health condition, don’t talk about it.

“I think the biggest part is the stigma honestly,” Summers said. “People don’t want to be a burden to others, the stigma of PTSD gives them a hold up – especially males, we don’t like to talk about that stuff.” 

While typically associated with veterans, PTSD can happen to anyone, and the families of those suffering from PTSD are also impacted. For team members with Veteran’s Affairs, PTSD and it’s impact on service members is something always on their mind.

“I think there should be a national awareness day every day of every week,” VA / VFW Service Officer David Tinsley said. “Because these guys just don’t come in and get well overnight. It’s a long process, and some of them are never really well, they just learn how to cope.”  

The one central message those who work with PTSD patients want victims to take away, you are not alone.

“You can’t make a person seek out help, but you can make them aware that there is help out there, and they don’t have to feel the way they do for forever,” Tinsley said.

Post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t something that goes away on it’s own. For those suffering from PTSD, finding local support groups can help them connect with others in an open, judge free environment. To connect with local support groups, civilian or veteran specific, visit these links below.  

Nami PTSD link

Find help link

VA Health Services link

US department of Veteran Affairs PTSD link