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PTSD, Depression & Suicide – Handling images from the Ukraine

It has been a difficult week for a lot of people. The images of war, the sound of gunfire, explosions and military vehicles maneuvering through cities… It can bring back a lot of traumatic and unresolved issues.

The statistics are terrible, on average 22 Veterans commit suicide every day. That is over 8000 death a year that could have been prevented with proper care and treatment.

It’s not just soldiers, although they are generally the first people you think of when you hear PTSD. The images of death and destruction can affect immigrants, refugees, as well as our local police and firefighters.

People with PTDS don’t often talk about the issues that are causing them problems but there are a few symptoms that can indicate the need for help. Some of them are hard to see, like flashbacks and recurring memories, but others like avoiding people or places that cause stress, hyper-awareness and irritability are easier to spot. These symptoms may be accompanied by other complicating factors like depression, drug or alcohol abuse and trouble maintaining social relationships.

If you are feeling stresses and overwhelmed by the images and stories of the conflict in Ukraine, please take the time to talk with someone. If you notice a friend has become more withdrawn, or is constantly looking for threats, take them time to talk to them. Listen to their stories and comfort them if you can or ensure they have access to the help they need.

When in doubt, you can contact the national crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or in an emergency please call 911.

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