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Returning to Work After a Traumatic Event: PTSD

Returning to Work After a Traumatic Event: PTSD

Note: The following article does contain some information about traumatic events related to post-traumatic stress disorder, which could be triggering. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Your life matters.

A story was shared via the main website for The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA); here is an excerpt from this person’s story:

“I lost all ability to concentrate or even complete tasks. Normally social, I stopped trying to make friends or get involved in my community. I often felt disoriented, forgetting where, or who, I was. I would panic on the freeway and became unable to drive, again ending a career.”

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects nearly 7.8% of Americans at some point in their lives, whether through a professional lens (such as with war veterans, emergency responders, etc.), through personal life (childhood trauma, physical abuse, etc.), or through a traumatic societal event (terrorist attack, mass shooting, etc.). If you’ve witness or personally experienced a traumatic event, you may certainly experience symptoms of PTSD, which can significantly affect all aspects of your life. Signs of PTSD include: nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, avoiding people or place that are associated with the event, and more.

Regarding the workplace, hopefully you’ve been able to speak with the Human Resources Department to obtain information relating to PTSD and what support services are offered. If you’ve been on extended leave and are about to return, you may feel hesitant about how to manage your symptoms; for many people, treatment programs are a wonderful way to work through these upsetting events while also building a support team as well as direct tools that can be used.

A 2017 study published in the journal PLOS One involved the assessment of vocational functioning as veterans managing PTSD symptoms. Researchers found workplace social support to be a major positive adjustment upon returning, which opens up the potential for more services and/or interventions to be offered in the workplace for individuals experiencing PTSD. Social support has been shown in several studies to be a positive influence for those in recovery from mental illness. Treatment for PTSD may include medication, individual and group therapy, and holistic activities such as meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic services, and more.

If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center for programs to best suit your needs. Consider speaking with your employer about accommodations to support you in your journey to recovery. PTSD is treatable, and recovery is possible. Don’t give up.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers individualized treatment programs for professionals in a range of industries. Call us today for information on our specialized treatment: 855-422-4129

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