June 26, 2015
Dear Families and Friends,
Saturday, June 27 is National Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day. The National Center for PTSD reports that about 8% of Americans will have PTSD at some point in their lives, and that more than 8 million individuals have PTSD during a given year.
Posttraumatic stress can occur after experiencing a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, act of mass violence, or terrorist attack and can affect an individual's capacity to react or feel safe, even when he or she is no longer in danger. For instance, about half of those who responded to, survived, or lost loved ones on September 11th may have at some time had this condition.
Fortunately, PTSD is treatable. As with any medical condition, early detection can help those suffering with PTSD seek successful treatment. This week's newsletter is intended to build awareness about the symptoms and treatment for PTSD and provide access to available resources.
For more than 13 years, VOICES has been committed to providing information and support to the 9/11 community and now, through VOICES Resilience Center, to share lessons learned with families and communities impacted by other traumatic events.
Please contact us at (203) 966-3911 if we can be of any assistance.
Warm Regards,

Mary Fetchet & the VOICES Staff

P.S.  We have included below a link to our website with comprehensive information on PTSD symptoms, treatment, and resources, as well as an online screening tool.

Learn More About PTSD
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after experiencing a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, act of mass violence, or terrorist attack and can affect an individual's capacity to react or feel safe, even when he or she is no longer in danger.
PTSD can range from being less disruptive to severe and can affect the way one goes about daily life. Individuals may develop PTSD depending on the trauma's intensity or longevity, one's proximity to the event, or how much control one had in responding to the event. If an individual was seriously hurt, in danger or believed to be in danger, or seriously injured from the trauma, he or she may be more likely to develop the disorder.
Factors in the aftermath of a trauma, such as an individual's support or personal reactions, may also influence whether or not he or she will develop PTSD symptoms.
Symptoms of PTSD may include the following:
  • Frequent or constant reliving or re-experiencing the traumatic event
  • Flashbacks with vivid memories
  • Reoccurring dreams and difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Distress around things that resemble the traumatic event
Those suffering from PTSD may also experience the following:
  • Negative changes in beliefs
  • Hyperarousal
  • Outbursts in anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exaggerated startled response
  • Avoidance
  • Emotional detachment
  • Numbness
If you or someone you know is concerned that you may have PTSD, you may take a  online screening to help identify symptoms. Please be sure to share the results with your health care professional to discuss in more detail and available treatment options if applicable.
There are good treatments available for PTSD. The main two types are psychotherapy, often referred to as counseling, and medications. There are many variations of each and a combination of the two is often used.
Among the treatment modalities are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Medications like Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) can raise the level of seratonin in your brain and make you feel better. Other complimentary treatments for PTSD include meditation/mindfulness techniques and maintaining an exercise program.
To read more about PTSD treatment and access a full list of resources, visit our website at www.voicesofseptember11.org.