Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness
Illustration: Jaelen Brock
Author: Helen Massy

In 2014, the United States Senate declared the month of June to be National PTSD Awareness Month, in order to recognize the more than 13 million American adults who live with this mental condition.

Post-traumatic stress disorder was first observed by Hippocrates in 50 B.C.E. It was not until World War I and WWII, however, that civilians and soldiers alike reported symptoms—the first diagnoses called it "battle fatigue" and "shell shock"—and shined a light on the condition. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, in 1980, post-traumatic stress disorder was finally recognized in medical literature.

This month, we'll focus on the immediate and chronic consequences of psychological trauma. Our stories will discuss the range of treatments and therapies available and look at the stigmas inherent in seeking help for a mental disorder—stigmas that deprive too many people of an opportunity for recovery from what is a highly treatable condition.

In this series of four stories during the month of June, we'll focus on the facts that everyone needs to know about PTSD, for yourself and a loved one. We'll take a close look at how differently this mental disorder affects the lives of women and men. Plus, we'll dive into the signs and symptoms to watch for, based on expert advice from professionals who work in this medical field.

PTSD survivors need attention, care and most of all, love. We'll provide the research you need to understand this condition so you're better equipped to help people in the future, or even yourself.

PTSD is a complex interplay of symptoms affecting millions of Americans. Here are the facts.
More women than men have PTSD because of sexual trauma and interpersonal violence.
Along with other symptoms, PTSD in men may cause erectile dysfunction and reduced libido.
Nearly half of all WWP participants live with symptoms of two or more mental health issues.