PTSD – What Is It and How Do I Cope?

Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics Updates

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Whether or not you have heard of PTSD or, if you or someone you know is struggling with it, our clinicians are here to help you gain some helpful ways to enhance your mental health.

Are you familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, otherwise known as PTSD? Through education, we might better understand what PTSD is and how we can help others cope.

PTSD has become somewhat of a headline in recent years. While 20 years ago, it may have seemed like a foreign word, most people in today’s society know what the acronym stands for and that it can be quite a serious issue.

What is PTSD?

To get a better understanding of the topic, we asked our clinicians more about it. Nahomi Martinez, Intake Coordinator, said, “PTSD is a mental health condition in which an individual has difficulty coping or recovering from experiencing, witnessing or learning of a traumatic event.” While Martinez provides an explanation of what PTSD is, she mentions that it is also important to recognize the signs.

How Do I Recognize the Signs?

According to Aileen Serrano, Lead Clinician at the El Paso Cohen Clinic, some of the signs can include,

  trouble sleeping
–  nightmares
  feeling hyper vigilant in public places
–  isolative behaviors

Although some signs of PTSD are easy to spot, not all will be completely transparent. At times, it may be extremely difficult to recognize the change in a person’s behavior. Serrano describes this as “feeling irritable” or simply “driving on the freeway”. While these situations may be experienced by many individuals, Martinez reminds, “not everyone meets criteria for PTSD.”

Is Help Necessary?

Although the signs of PTSD may not be present, it is still a good idea to know when to seek help. Martinez writes:

If you are struggling with flashbacks or recreating the traumatic event, avoidance of memories or reminders, being extra attentive or alert due to safety concerns for yourself or others, it may be time to speak with a mental health professional. Some of the symptoms noted above are some of the hallmarks of PTSD, however, they are not the only ones.

If you or someone you know may be exhibiting the above signs, it may be time to schedule an appointment with one of our trained mental health providers. Our clinics are available and offer Telehealth, face-to-face therapy delivered online, to reduce barriers to care.

To find a servicing clinic near you, visit our website:
If in crisis, contact the National Veterans Crisis Hotline: 800-273-8255, press 1.


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