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El Paso mental health experts raising awareness about PTSD

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- June is PTSD Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising support and understanding for those affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD affects millions of people each year, often resulting from experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

Experts note that while it is normal to have stress reactions to traumatic events, most people start to feel better after a few weeks. However, if symptoms last longer than a month, it could be PTSD.

Jonathan Bohannon, director of Military Veterans Services at Emergence Health Network, told ABC7 that PTSD can impact anyone, regardless of age or background. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that PTSD only affects the military or veteran population. And speaking as a veteran, you know, that has PTSD, you know, that can't be further from the truth,” Bohannon said.

He explains that PTSD becomes serious once it starts affecting day-to-day life, as it can escalate quickly from there. Recognizing symptoms early will help provide the necessary resources. 

“Nightmares, flashbacks and anything that reminds you of the event. If you become, like, hyper-vigilant, you don't want to be around social gatherings. You don't want to be around friends and family. So that can cause isolation, which could bring on depression. And you may not enjoy the things that you once enjoyed before,” Bohannon explained.

There are several treatment options are available for those suffering from PTSD, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (TMS), Group Counseling, and Peer Support Groups.

"Here at the Veterans One-Stop Center, we offer CBT, EMDR, and group counseling," Bohannon said. "If someone isn't ready for counseling, peer support groups are a great alternative where they can talk to others with similar experiences."

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, don't hesitate to seek help. There are many effective treatments available, and support can make a significant difference in recovery.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Emergence Health Network call 915-242-0555. 

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Isabella Martinez


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