It is war. It is car crashes. It is sexual, verbal, psychological or physical abuse. It is house fires. It is natural disasters. It is severe bullying. It is witnessing a traumatic event. It is the death of a loved one. It is different for everyone. 

It is bad dreams. It is flashbacks. It is being easily startled. It is feeling numb. It is losing interest in life. It is feeling angry, irritable, depressed, hopeless, and even suicidal. It is panic attacks. It is physical pain. It is different for everyone. 

June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness month. Eight per cent of the American population suffer from PTSD at any given time. That's almost twenty five million people in one country alone; twenty five people that suffer, feel alone, feel scared, feel misunderstood. We can help to lift the stigma of PTSD by making a conscious effort to understand it, and to support the people suffering daily. 

If a loved one suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, here's a few things that you can do to help:

- Research the disorder and be aware of your loved one's specific symptoms

- Be understanding and gentle

- Don't pressure them to talk about what happened to them

- Emphasize their strengths 

-Make plans for the future 

- Encourage them to seek professional help

- Be patient, loving and kind

As a society, we can be aware, know the facts, have an understanding and break the stigma to help those suffering. 

There is no easy fix or cure-all. But remember, when you replace 'I' with 'we', 'illness' becomes 'wellness.'

Published by Kahlia Tipping