When Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) comes up on the news, it’s usually in the context of veterans. However, there are many types of trauma that a person can experience in a lifetime without ever setting foot on a battlefield. Loss of a loved one, sexual assault, and the loss of a loved one are a few examples of that trauma.
PTSD does not have to develop from a personal experience but can be caused by seeing or hearing a life-threatening event, even if one’s own life is not threatened. For example, it is likely that many people who witnessed the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013—regardless of whether they were near the explosion—developed PTSD as a reaction to the tragic event.
PTSD impacts not only the suffering individuals but those close to them. It can also emerge years after the triggering event. To see if the symptoms that you are experiencing are similar to those of PTSD, make time for a quick check-in at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.
It’s a known truth that illness can be most effectively treated when it is identified early. If you have an ear infection, start your antibiotics before things get worse. If you discover that you have heart problems, changing your lifestyle could protect you from a future heart attack. Why should mental health be any different?
Hint: it isn’t. Although one in five people have a diagnosable mental health disorder, only 44% of adults and 20% of children receive the treatment that they need. Why? One reason is the stigma surrounding mental health, which prevents people from feeling comfortable seeking help. Another is a general lack of knowledge about mental health resources.
When mental health screenings are regularly accessible to the public, checking on your mental health becomes normalized and less stigmatized. Where mental health screenings are available, there is also access to referral information that helps individuals take the next steps in seeking care. And, once someone has taken a screening, they gain a better idea as to whether they might have symptoms of a mental health disorder.
Mental health screenings are typically available at a primary care physician’s office, but there is no need to wait for your annual appointment to check in with yourself. Beck Psychotherapy has an online mental health screening program available at any hour of the day and from the comfort of your phone or tablet. Mental health screenings are free, anonymous, brief, and will provide you with referral information for resources in your area. Get your “check up from the neck up” here: http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.
As with all things, technology can be bad or good for you depending on how you use it. In the context of mental health, tech is generally represented as a negative. And it can be: Using your phone before bed suppresses melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and impacting the quality of the sleep that you do get. Extended use of social media exacerbates anxiety and can lower self-esteem. Digital communication may impede the development of face-to-face social skills that are an essential part of life.
However, technology is here to stay and we must learn to control how often and in what ways we use it for the benefit of our health. Technology has made mental health care more accessible and personalized. Smartphone apps help people moderate their anxiety and monitor dangerous addictions. Some programs allow doctors to keep in touch with patients and track their progress.
Another advantage that technology brings to the mental health world is the addition of online screenings to augment regular health care regimens. These platforms give individuals a means of checking in with their mental health privately and easily, with instant access to a variety of educational resources and local referral information. Take a brief, anonymous mental health screening today at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com and experience how technology can help us care for ourselves and others!