There are currently about 12 million people in the United States with PTSD. Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don’t get the help they need.

June is PTSD Awareness Month and there is something that you can do to help raise awareness of the symptoms and treatment options.

We know that those of you reading this are very familiar with PTSD, but in honor of PTSD Awareness Month, please take 3 minutes to read this article.

PTSD is more common than many realize: according to a PubMed article published in December 2021, the prevalence of PTSD among civilians ranges from 8.0% to 56.7%, 1-year prevalence from 2.3% to 9.1%, and lifetime prevalence from 3.4% to 26.9%. In military populations, point prevalence ranged from 1.2% to 87.5%, 1-year prevalence from 6.7% to 50.2%, and lifetime prevalence from 7.7% to 17.0%.

Prevalence is elevated in subpopulations including emergency responders, refugees, American Indian/Alaska Natives, individuals with heavy substance use, individuals with a past suicide attempt, trans-masculine individuals, and women with prior military sexual trauma. Female sex, lower income, younger age, and behavioral health conditions were identified as risk factors for PTSD.*

About one third of children who experience a traumatic event will develop PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD can be diverse and often overwhelming and other problems can develop alongside PTSD including anxiety or depression, defiant behavior, ADHD, and in teenagers and young adults, suicidal thoughts and alcohol or drug use. Up to 80 per cent of people who have long-standing PTSD develop additional problems – most commonly depression, anxiety, and alcohol or other substance misuse. These may have developed directly in response to the traumatic event or as a result of the effects of having PTSD.

To complicate the problem, many don’t recognize their symptoms, and those that do, may not know that PTSD is treatable.

During PTSD Awareness Month, it is essential to spread the word about the prevalence, symptoms, and the availability of treatments for PTSD. If someone near you (beyond your study patients) may have PTSD or a PTSD-related illness, take this opportunity to encourage them to seek help.

Understanding that PTSD is a common and treatable condition can make a significant difference in reducing stigma and supporting those who are struggling.

Let’s take this opportunity to educate ourselves and others, fostering a supportive environment where individuals with PTSD feel understood and empowered to seek the help they need. By spreading awareness and promoting effective treatments, we can make a meaningful impact in the lives of those affected by PTSD.

June 27th is PTSD Screening Day — answer the 5 questions to see if you may have PTSD. And share the link on your social media and via text to your contacts so they can take the self-test.

You don’t have to wait until June 27th.


*PTSD prevalence estimates varied widely, partly due to different study designs, populations, and methodologies, and recent nationally representative estimates were lacking.