Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: it affects more than military ve - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: it affects more than military veterans

More than 20 veterans in the United States commit suicide everyday. (Source: KLTV) More than 20 veterans in the United States commit suicide everyday. (Source: KLTV)
PTSD affects more than military veterans. First responders, and anyone who's been through a traumatic event, could be subject to the disorder. (Source: Tyler Police) PTSD affects more than military veterans. First responders, and anyone who's been through a traumatic event, could be subject to the disorder. (Source: Tyler Police)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

In 2010, the United States Congress declared June 27 as PTSD Awareness Day. It's a 24-hour period that's meant to help educate people about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and what causes it.

Brenda McBride with the East Texas Medical Center's Behavioral Health division says the disorder actually changes the physiology of the brain.

"We can have changes in the hippocampus," she said. "When a person is triggered and has a flashback, the part of the brain that's responsible for vision and images is very active. But the part of the brain area that's responsible for speech, is much less active."

This makes it physically difficult for people with the disorder to speak during episodes.

"There's a myth that this only happens to weak people," McBride said. "That's why it helps to show folks brain scans of how the brain is different with the disorder."

It's a disorder that affects more than military veterans. McBride says that anyone who's been through a traumatic life event can be subjected to the disorder.

"But it's very treatable," she said. "We wouldn't say, 'well just get over your cancer,' or, 'just get over your stroke,' we wouldn't say that."

The same should go for PTSD, she says. In addition to PTSD Awareness Day, the United States Senate declared the entire month of June PTSD Awareness month in 2014.

McBride says if you feel you suffer from the disorder, the first step of the treatment is to ask for help.

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