Post-Traumatic Stress

PTSD Awareness Month

By: Sania Khanzode

June is National PTSD Awareness Month! PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is linked to trauma and stress and impacts approximately 7% of the population. In honor of PTSD Awareness Month, let’s take a closer look at what PTSD really is.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.” Experiencing fear after a traumatic event is normal as most people will experience symptoms post-trauma. However, for most, recovery follows shortly. Those who continue to exhibit symptoms of stress are diagnosed with PTSD.

What causes PTSD? Trauma is a broad term, so let’s look into some examples that have been shown to cause PTSD.

The NHS outlines the following:

  • Serious accidents
  • Physical or sexual assault
  • Abuse, including childhood or domestic abuse
  • Exposure to traumatic events at work, including remote exposure
  • Serious health problems, such as being admitted to intensive care
  • Childbirth experiences, such as losing a baby
  • The death of someone close to you
  • War and conflict
  • Torture

Though these are not the only causes, they are the most common ones. Researchers are still unclear as to why PTSD develops in some victims of trauma and not others. Research has suggested that a smaller hippocampus could, in part, create susceptibility for PTSD. 

What does PTSD look like? PTSD has many symptoms, split into four categories:

  1. Re-experiencing: Flashbacks, recurring dreams about the event, etc.
  2. Avoidance: Avoiding reminders, thoughts, and feelings of the event
  3. Arousal and Reactivity: Being “on edge”, tense, difficulty concentrating, etc.
  4. Cognition and Mood: Cognitive distortions about the event, loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed, continuous negative emotions

The NIMH tells us, “To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have… At least one re-experiencing symptom, At least one avoidance symptom, At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms, [and] At least two cognition and mood symptoms.” 

Though PTSD is incredibly difficult to deal with, it can be treated! Let’s talk about some treatments for PTSD: the two main ones are psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy is done by a mental health professional and helps people with PTSD by allowing them to identify their triggers and manage their symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most common type of psychotherapy used to treat PTSD.

The medications that are most commonly used to treat PTSD are known as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). SSRIs aid in treating the symptoms of PTSD and are often prescribed alongside psychotherapy. 

It is important that we are educated about PTSD and how it can impact those who suffer from it. It is also important that we support those who may be suffering from PTSD. If you know someone that suffers from PSTD, you can help by supporting them, encouraging them, and just listening to them. Being aware of PTSD and what it entails is the first step. 

Sources used:

Stress Management

National Stress Awareness Month

By Soven Saste

April is National Stress Awareness Month, which has been observed since 1992. In today’s day and age, people are often stressed, so it is important to learn about stress and how to manage it.

What is stress? According to the American Institute of Stress, stress can be defined as a “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” Stress is something we all experience at one point or another and is completely normal. Activities in daily life such as school, work, and family life can all cause some degree of stress. However, when you have too much stress, then it can start to become a problem. It can cause problems like being irritable, feeling overwhelmed, having depression, low energy, aching muscles, insomnia, nervousness, racing thoughts, changes in appetite, and much more.

 You cannot always control the things that make you stressed, but you can work on how you deal with tough situations and manage your long-term stress. When present in a difficult situation, put in a focused effort to remain calm, try and understand the situation, and take a step back from the environment if you have to. 

Managing Long-Term Stress

It is important to learn how to manage your long-term stress so that you can stay healthy and happy. Some great ways to manage stress include:


When you exercise, you release endorphins, (or feel good hormones) in your body that can combat stress. Going for a short walk, biking, or even swimming are all ways to clear your mind and to control stress. Additionally, a balanced diet can also help to lower your stress.

Partaking in a hobby or leisure activity

Doing something fun and engaging for even 20-30 minutes a day can get your mind off of your issues. You can do things like playing an instrument, knitting, reading, or cooking, among other creative activities.


Recently, many people have started to meditate and practice mindfulness as part of their self-care routines, and for good reason. At Taarika Foundation, we emphasize the practice of meditation and mindfulness for overall health and well-being. Meditating is doing things that essentially attempt to bring you in touch with reality and the present moment. 

There are many ways to meditate, including mindfulness meditation, religious meditation, meditating through exercises such as yoga, and more. You can explore these different options and see which one works best for you. 

Mindfulness is a form of meditation. Mindfulness is often given a false meaning or misunderstood by many people. According to the Oxford dictionary, mindfulness is “ a mental state achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while calmly accepting the feelings and thoughts that come to you, used as a technique to help you relax.” Mindfulness involves being fully aware of your thoughts and feelings but rather than shutting them out, you acknowledge them and the fact that you have them. 

Mindfulness can be applied to many different things. For example, you can be mindful while eating food. That would entail focusing on the food, how it tastes, how it smells, etc. By practicing mindfulness and meditation, you can greatly curb your stress.


Sharing your personal issues with someone trusted like a close friend or family member can be very helpful to manage stress. Oftentimes, talking to other people about your stress can help you gain clarity. If your stress load is very heavy, it would even make sense to talk to a professional like a therapist or a psychiatrist. While there is a lot of stigma that might linger around this, it is perfectly normal to talk to a therapist and in fact, getting help is a sign of great strength, courage and resilience. 

This April, put an effort towards making a habit out of self-caring activities like exercise, clean eating, and meditation to keep your stress in control. Remember that it is normal to find these practices challenging even if you might understand how beneficial they are. The important thing is to put your best foot forward and try your best. Try to make improvements that work well for your own circumstances and current habits to have a healthy and satisfying lifestyle. 

Stress Management

Stress Management