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Raising Awareness Of PTSD In SW Florida Communities

June is National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness month, and many mental health professionals and organizations will take the opportunity to educate the public about the symptoms, risks, and treatments of PTSD.

Helping To Raise PTSD Awareness

Commonly known by the public as a mental health issue affecting combat veterans, PTSD also happens to civilians who are involved in traumatic events such as physical abuse, violent crashes, victims of criminal assault, and victims of sexual assault, natural disasters, and many other causes. Unfortunately, far too often people who suffer from PTSD go undiagnosed and untreated, causing long-term problems that continue to harm their life long after the traumatic event.

This June we are raising awareness and spreading the word to Southwest Florida residents about what they can do to help victims of PTSD find treatment in their communities.

PTSD Is More Common Than You Might Think

According to the national center for PTSD, about 8 percent of the population will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during their lifetime.

Not Just Adults

This disorder affects people of all ages including children. Traumatic events due to combat, accidents, disasters, mass shootings, and abuse are just a few of the causes of PTSD. No matter the cause everyone who seeks treatment should be able to receive a diagnosis and get the necessary help they need for their condition.

How You Can Participate In National PTSD Awareness Month

Support PTSD Survivors

PTSD survivors will need care, understanding, attention, and love. Studies have shown that people may recover faster when they receive support from friends or family. Get informed about the symptoms of PTSD, and have a conversation with your friends and family members about how to help and what to expect.

Spread The Word

Help spread the word about PTSD on social media by using the #PTSDAwarenessMonth hashtag to share support resources on social media.

Getting Financial Help For PTSD

Those who suffer severe cases of PTSD may be entitled to compensation as part of a personal injury lawsuit or government benefits under Social Security Disability laws.

If you or someone you know has been injured with PTSD and you have questions about SSDI benefits or getting financial compensation, call us today at (941) 625-4878 for your 100% Free Attorney Consultation.

PTSD Facts: What Exactly Is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that may develop after witnessing or experiencing a life-threatening event, like war combat, a natural disaster, a horrible car accident, a mass shooting, or sexual assault.

Although it is normal to have memories that are upsetting in nature, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a stressful event, with PTSD those symptoms persist over a long time and can be so strong that they prevent you to live a normal life. For example, you may have trouble doing normal activities you once did, like going to work, going to school or spending time with the people in your life you care about. However, most people will start to feel better after a few weeks or months.

However, if your symptoms have been lasting longer than a few months, you may be experiencing PTSD. For some people, these symptoms may start later on or go on over a long period of time.

PTSD Treatments

The good news is that you can get diagnosed and treated for this disorder. Every person is different and treatments for reducing PTSD symptoms will vary by individual and can include any of the following:

• Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Stress Inoculation Training
• Medications

For those struggling with symptoms of PTSD but not currently on a treatment program there are tools to help you manage your PTSD. so that you might live your life and manage the symptoms on a daily basis.

You can turn your life around with proven treatments even if you have been struggling with PTSD for years.

What Can Cause PTSD?

Traumatic events that can cause PTSD to develop are:

• War time combat and other military experience
• Sexual or physical assault
• A violent or accidental death of injury of a loved one
• The sexual abuse or physical abuse of childhood
• Serious events in life or accidents like a horrible car accident
• Natural disasters such as fire, hurricane, tornado, flood or earthquake
• Mass shootings
• A terrorist attack

Any of these events may make you feel that you are losing control and are very afraid. Anyone who has gone through something of this nature may develop PTSD.

If You Have Had a Traumatic Event You Are Not Alone

Going through a traumatic event is not rare for most Americans. More than half of Americans have had trauma in their lives. Of those who have had trauma about 1 in 10 men and 2 in 10 women will develop PTSD.

There are some signs that you might develop PTSD- for example, having very intense or long-lasting trauma, getting hurt, or having a strong reaction to an event like shaking, throwing up, or feeling distant from your surroundings.

It is also common to develop PTSD after certain events like combat and sexual assault. There is no way to know who will develop PTSD.

What Are The Symptoms of PTSD?

Being Haunted By Flashbacks Of The Traumatic Event

Memories that are traumatic can come up at any time after an event. These memories can be scary for people as if the event is being relieved again. This is a flashback and can also lead to nightmares about the traumatic event.

Also, memories of the trauma can also be a trigger. Something that reminds you of the event. For example, seeing a news report about a disaster might trigger flashbacks or memories of the event. This might cause a person to have flashbacks or undue stress and may need medical attention.

Avoiding Things That Remind You Of The Event

You may try to avoid things that remind you of the event like certain people, situations or places. For example, someone who was assaulted on a bus might avoid public transportation. A combat veteran may avoid crowded places like shopping malls because they feel dangerous. Others might try to stay busy so that they do not have to deal with information about the event. Like talking or thinking about what has happened to them in the past.

Having Persistent Negative Thoughts or Feelings Since The Event

You may feel more negative than you did before you experienced the trauma. You might feel sad or numb or lose interest in things you used to enjoy before like spending time with friends or family. You may feel that the world is a dangerous place and you can not trust anyone to understand your emotions or feelings.

You might even feel guilt or shame about the event itself. You may wish that you had done more to keep it from happening.

Feeling on Edge All The Time

People with PTSD have hyperarousal and may have trouble sleeping or concentrating or feeling like they are always on the lookout for danger. They may suddenly get angry and irritable and if someone startles them they might startle easily. A person with PTSD might also abuse drugs or alcohol or drive aggressively.

PTSD And Personal Injury Law

How to Proceed With A PTSD Lawsuit Under Personal Injury Law

Those who suffer from PTSD may not realize that they can be relieved of the financial burden of living with the condition by consulting with an experienced lawyer in the Southwest Florida area that can provide expert advice.

In order to have a successful personal injury lawsuit, the PTSD injuries must be shown to have been caused by the negligent actions of another.

In the cases where someone's reckless or criminal behavior causes them to suffer from PTSD, your personal injury lawyer will need to prove the extent of the injuries and the long-term cost and harm they have caused to be able to set a dollar amount for compensation.

To do this, your attorney will likely rely in part on expert testimony. Your attorney may invite expert witnesses such as a psychiatrist, neurologist, or long-term care expert to testify to the court while arguing to prove any of the following.

Injury: You suffered some psychological injury with various symptoms. The best course of action for you to take is to provide information from a diagnosis from a medical professional such as a therapist or psychiatrist.

Causation: An event triggered mental or emotional injury. In terms of a lawsuit, you will want to provide as much evidence as possible that a specific event is responsible for your diagnosis.

Recoverable Damages: You should attempt to recover damages for your diagnosis and treatment associated with your recovery of PTSD. Courts are more willing to award damages with quantifiable terms.

Present Evidence: In deciding if your claims are genuine expert testimony is enormously important when arguing your case. In personal injury law, the jury will be responsible for deciding if the plaintiff will receive benefits or not.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And Social Security Disability Benefits

If you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is severe enough to prevent you from working you may be entitled to SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) or SSI ( Supplemental Security Income).

Working closely with a professional who is qualified to present the required documentation may help support your case. You need an advocate who can help you to ensure that your Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Disability case will have the highest possible chance of success.

Can You Really Get Disability for PTSD?

In order to have an SSDI claim be successful for PTSD, you must have the proper documentation. In your documentation, the SSA will ask for your medical records, including hospital records and clinic notes from physicians, therapists, and counselors.

Your doctor will fill out a Residual Functional Capacity Evaluation on your behalf. This form evaluates the maximum you can do with your disability such as PTSD.

Your RFC evaluation is medical documentation that will show if you are not able to work full time with your disability. You will need as much documentation as possible if you want to receive disability for your PTSD. An SSDI lawyer can make sure your claim is processed as quickly and correctly as possible. This will help expedite your case with the best possible outcome for your PTSD claim.

What Are the Benefits of Applying for SSI with PTSD?

Millions of Americans have a disability and may suffer financial hardship and are unable to work with a disability like PTSD. People with PTSD may be able to receive financial help with this disorder. The social security administration is responsible for assessing those with PTSD and other disabilities for eligibility for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. Anyone entitled to these benefits needs to have accumulated sufficient work credits when they were employed. How many work credits depends on your age when you became disabled. If you are under the age of 24 you will only need 6 credits but if you are over 62 you will need to have accrued over 40 credits. If the SSA has made the decision that you are eligible for SSI due to your medical condition lasting for 12 months and you have enough work credits then you may begin to receive your SSI benefits. Each year SSDI benefits increase when Social Security cost of living adjustments are made.

Impairments that Qualify PTSD Sufferers For Disability Benefits

Some disability claims for post-traumatic stress disorders are approved by satisfying the Social Security Disability Blue Book listing requirements under “Anxiety Disorders”. In order to do this you must meet the requirements of Paragraph A and the requirements of either Paragraph B or Paragraph C.

In addition, you must meet the conditions of either paragraph B below:


Your medical records must document at least one of the following findings.

• You recall a traumatic experience
• You have recurring obsessions or compulsions
• You exhibit an irrational fear of a situation, object, or activity that is persistent enough that it causes a compulsion in you to avoid the situation, object, or activity
• You have severe panic attacks, with symptoms of fear, intense apprehension, and feelings of impending doom and terror, on an average of at least once a week
• You experience generalized persistent anxiety accompanied by at least three of the following symptoms:

- autonomic hyperactivity (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, dry mouth, cold hands, and dizziness)
- apprehensive expectation (anxiety, fear, worry, and persistent thoughts of potential misfortune)
- motor tension (fatigability, trembling, restlessness, and muscle tension)
- vigilance and scanning behavior (feeling keyed up, increased startling, and impaired concentration).
• Your medical records must show at least two of the following findings:
- You are restricted in your normal daily activities
- Difficulties in maintaining social functioning
- Difficulty in maintaining your concentration, persistence, or pace
- Repeated episodes of decompensation (worsening psychiatric symptoms), that are of extended duration.
• Your medical records must prove that your PTSD results in your complete inability to function on your own outside your house.

When presenting your claim, your medical records should include one detailed description of the anxiety you experience.

That description should include the nature, duration and frequency of the anxiety and your ability to function. It should also include factors that may worsen your condition.

In addition, this description should indicate if the anxiety reaction matches your doctor's observation notes on your condition.

Getting Help

If the above information is overwhelming and confusing do not worry our team is here to help. The attorneys at All Injuries Law Firm have decades of experience helping clients who have been hurt in accidents or obtain social security disability benefits. If you have question about getting help, or financial compensation for PTSD injuries contact All Injuries Law Firm Today at (941) 625-4878 for your 100% Free Attorney Consultation.


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