Common Fears And Misconceptions While Calling The Ptsd/depression Helpline
It is normal for people to experience suspicion, doubt, or fear at the thought of calling a PTSD hotline.8 This may happen out of fear of discussing their condition, disclosing substance use, and having doubts about:8
- The confidentiality of PTSD and substance abuse treatments.
- The cost of PTSD and substance abuse treatment.
- The quality of services offered by the hotline.
If you are considering calling a PTSD crisis hotline number, remember that such calls are completely confidential, anonymous, free, and available 24/7. The admission navigator who picks up your call will lend you a sympathetic ear, as well as provide valuable information on the available treatment options and payment plans. Nobody will learn about the information disclosed in the call and you wont be required to commit to treatment right away.
In case of an emergency, such as you or a loved one being at risk of self-harm or harming someone else, call 911 right away or go to the nearest emergency room.
For information and support, you can call the following helpful PTSD hotlines:
Free Ptsd Crisis Hotline Numbers
Hotlines are a free and easy way to get more information and resources on PTSD. They provide confidential guidance and can answer your questions, directing you to the best care. There are several free and confidential national hotlines at your disposal.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
If you experience suicidal thoughts during a PTSD episode and dont know where to turn, the National Suicide Prevention number can offer guidance and the strength to find help. This number is free and provides 24-hour support for people in distress or crisis, as well as resources for you or your loved ones.
When youre ready to seek treatment for your PTSD, SAMHSAs hotline can help you locate mental health facilities in your area. This free national hotline is available 24/7 and can also direct you to local support groups, community-based organizations, and other mental health resources. You can also visit their online treatment locator.
- Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
If youre in the grips of a PTSD flashback, talking to a stranger on the phone may be the last thing you want to do. Luckily, help for people in crisis is just a text away. This free, 24/7 support service provides access to trained crisis counselors via text message, so you can break out of the PTSD episode and take the next step toward getting help.
Exposure To Hazardous Materials
Select from the links below to find out if you can get disability compensation and other benefits for illnesses or other conditions. These are illnesses and conditions that may have been caused by contact with harmful chemicals or other hazardous materials while serving in the military.
- If you served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti, or near Atsugi, Japan, you may have had contact with toxic chemicals in the air, water, or soil.
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Veterans Counseling Hotline 1
On April 13, 2009, Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General of New Jersey, and Colonel Stephen Abel, Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, along with John J. Petillo, Ph.D., President, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey , and Christopher Kosseff, President and CEO, University Behavioral HealthCare announced the creation of a new, mental health helpline for veterans returning from service in Southwest Asia.
The new toll-free number will provide immediate assistance to veterans suffering from psychological or emotional distress as well as those having difficulty re-assimilating back into civilian life following the conclusion of their mobilization for active duty service.
The toll-free helpline, which is accessible 24/7 by dialing 1-866-VETS-NJ4 will be coordinated by UMDNJ’s University Behavioral HealthCare, and will feature peer counseling, clinical assessment, assistance to family members and will provide New Jersey veterans and their families with access to a comprehensive Mental Health Provider Network of mental health professionals specializing in PTSD and other veteran issues. All services are free and confidential.
For additional information on available services in the Public Mental Health System, please visit the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services on their website at www.state.nj.us/humanservices.dmhs to locate an agency near you.
The Four Types Of Ptsd Symptoms
Therapists and researchers organize PTSD symptoms into four distinct subgroups: intrusive symptoms, avoidance symptoms, negative alterations in cognition and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. At minimum, an individual with PTSD expresses one intrusion symptom, one avoidance symptom, two cognition and mood symptoms, and two arousal and reactivity symptoms. PTSD symptoms last longer than one month for affected individuals. Examples of symptoms in the four subgroups are listed below:
- Unwanted, distressing memories of the traumatic event
- Recurring trauma-related nightmares
- Flashbacks involuntary and vivid re-experiencing of the traumatic experience
- Intense emotional distress and/or noticeable physiological reactions to trauma reminders
- Persistent avoidance of thoughts and memories related to the trauma
- Persistent avoidance of external reminders of the trauma
Negative Alterations in Cognitions and Mood:
- A complete lapse in memory of or a feeling of blacking out for parts of the trauma.
- Perpetual negative expectations of the world
- Continuous, misattributed blame of self or others about the traumatic event
- Persistent negative emotional state and/or the inability to experience positive emotions
- Loss of interest or participation in significant activities or activities once interested in
- Feelings of detachment from others, as well as feeling like others cannot relate or understand the trauma and emotional burden
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Beyond Treatment: How Can I Help Myself
It may be very hard to take that first step to help yourself. It is important to realize that although it may take some time, with treatment, you can get better. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor. You can also check NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses page or search online for mental health providers, social services, hotlines, or physicians for phone numbers and addresses. An emergency room doctor can also provide temporary help and can tell you where and how to get further help.
To help yourself while in treatment:
- Talk with your doctor about treatment options
- Engage in mild physical activity or exercise to help reduce stress
- Set realistic goals for yourself
- Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can
- Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.
- Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately
- Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people
Caring for yourself and others is especially important when large numbers of people are exposed to traumatic events .
Keep Your School Safe
Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
Do you think someone is going to harm themselves? Did you see something scary that concerns you online?
If it makes you uncomfortable, submit a tip. It will be up to your school to determine what the next steps are.
- Wet the bed after having learned to use the toilet
- Forget how to or be unable to talk
- Act out the scary event during playtime
- Become unusually clingy
In addition to reaching out for help if you need it, try to avoid alcohol and other drugs, spend time with supportive loved ones, and maintain normal routines as much as possible.
If you suspect child abuse, report it. Call ChildLine at Find other resources on the Keep Kids Safe website.
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What Does A Social Worker Do
In most Canadian provinces, a Bachelor degree in Social Work is the minimum requirement for entry in the profession. Some social workers have a Masters or Doctoral degree. Their services may include psychotherapy. They work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. You can find a social worker in Operational Stress Injury Clinics and on the list of Veterans Affairs Canada registered service providers.
A social worker can help you with:
- Practical challenges like finding employment, housing, and government benefits
- Problems like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance use
- Family and relationship difficulties
- Finding resources in your community
Social workers cannot prescribe medications.
You can find a social worker:
- Through a medical doctors referral in the public health care system or private self-referral
- Through people you know
- Through the VAC network of Operational Stress Injury Clinics
- Through VAC registered service providers
Caregiver Stipend Benefit For Family Members
A primary family caregiver stipend is a monetary compensation paid to a primary family caregiver for providing personal care services to an eligible Veteran enrolled in the caregiver program. The stipend is not intended to replace career earnings and receipt of the stipend payments does not create an employment relationship between VA and the primary family caregiver.
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Research: Future Ptsd Treatments
More is known about PTSD than ever before. At NewYork-Presbyterian, our investigators continue to pioneer research to develop new PTSD treatment approaches. Through a research-funded clinical program, you may be able to receive treatment free of charge. Current research areas focus on:
- Combat or occupation-related PTSD
- PTSD related to the World Trade Center attacks
- PTSD related to a burn injury
- Imaginal exposure therapies
- Equine assisted treatment for veterans with PTSD
Next Steps For Ptsd Research
In the last decade, progress in research on the mental and biological foundations of PTSD has lead scientists to focus on better understanding the underlying causes of why people experience a range of reactions to trauma.
- NIMH-funded researchers are exploring trauma patients in acute care settings to better understand the changes that occur in individuals whose symptoms improve naturally.
- Other research is looking at how fear memories are affected by learning, changes in the body, or even sleep.
- Research on preventing the development of PTSD soon after trauma exposure is also under way.
- Other research is attempting to identify what factors determine whether someone with PTSD will respond well to one type of intervention or another, aiming to develop more personalized, effective, and efficient treatments.
- As gene research and brain imaging technologies continue to improve, scientists are more likely to be able to pinpoint when and where in the brain PTSD begins. This understanding may then lead to better targeted treatments to suit each persons own needs or even prevent the disorder before it causes harm.
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Do Children React Differently Than Adults
Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but some of their symptoms may not be the same as adults. Symptoms sometimes seen in very young children , these symptoms can include:
- Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
- Forgetting how to or being unable to talk
- Acting out the scary event during playtime
- Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult
Older children and teens are more likely to show symptoms similar to those seen in adults. They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They may also have thoughts of revenge.
What Exactly Is Post
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a person has been through a traumatic event. These events can include:
- Natural disasters
- Terrorist attacks
- Combat during wartime
During a traumatic event, people think that their life or the lives of others are in danger. They may feel afraid or feel that they have no control over what is happening. And if the person has a TBI, too, these feelings of lack of control and fear can balloon into confusion, challenges with memory, or intense emotion.
Combat-related PTSD has existed as long as war itself. The condition was called soldiers heart in the Civil War, shell shock in World War I, and Combat fatigue in World War II. Despite the fact that the condition has been around for thousands of years, it is sometimes still difficult, or controversial, to diagnose.
A Capable Support Group Facilitator Is Key To A Successful Support Group
A capable, experienced support group facilitator is the key to a successful support group. If you’re looking for a support group, ask what kind of training the support group facilitator has taken. Support group facilitators need to know how to effectively facilitate a group so that it doesn’t fall off track and risk helping no one.
Facilitators should maintain and enforce guidelines for the group. NAMI’s group guidelines are succinct and clear:
- Start and stop on time
- Time limit for opening stories of 2-3 minutes
- Absolute confidentiality
- Keep it in the here and now
- Empathize with each other’s situations
A well-trained support group facilitator will ask the group to share responsibility for maintaining the group’s guidelines and uphold the membership criteria. To keep the group on track, good facilitators will identify common issues for the group positively and optimistically and develop good communication skills that encourage group participation. Facilitators should keep the group in the present, encourage the group to do its work, and avoid negative group dynamics. In wrapping up the support group session, good facilitators will find ways always to end the group on a positive note. As peers lead many support groups, it’s important for facilitators to help the group meet its needs not to have the group meet the needs of the facilitator.
What Questions Should I Ask When Calling A Ptsd Helpline Number
If someone develops PTSD because of an ongoing source of trauma such as an abusive relationship, they will need help addressing their mental health issues as well as the traumatic environment contributing to them. A good first step is to call a post-traumatic stress disorder helpline. Other associated issues can include panic disorder, chronic depression, substance abuse, and suicidality.2 The purpose of a PTSD hotline is to provide information and connect you to services.
Here are some questions you may want to write down before calling a PTSD crisis hotline about your condition:
- How do I know if I have PTSD?
- What do I do if Im having a flashback or recurring nightmare?
- Can PTSD be treated or overcome?
- Do I need medication or therapy?
- What are the symptoms of PTSD?
- What if I have other mental health issues?
- Do I need to go to a special treatment program for PTSD?
- How do I find the best form of treatment for my individual issues?
- How much does PTSD treatment cost? Will my insurance cover it?
- Will I ever feel normal?
- What are the next steps I should take?
It is important to realize that it may take time, but with treatment, your loved one can recover.
Here are some questions to ask if you are calling about a loved ones condition:
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Free Online Communities And Peer Support
Many websites offer veterans a way to connect directly with other veterans for support.
- Patients Like Me. In partnership with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America , is a community where you can learn from others who are living in similar situations and connect with people who understand what you’re going through. Sign up for free at the Patients Like Me website.
- Vets 4 Warriors. This organization offers veterans and active duty military free, confidential peer support from other veterans. Connect with them on the Vets 4 Warriors website or by calling 855-838-8255.
- Mission Reconnect. Through this program, veterans can practice mind-body techniques that increase mental well-being and resilience. Learn more about the program on the Mission Reconnect website.
Are Ptsd Support Groups For Veterans Effective
In 2015, Oregon Health and Sciences University explored the topic of whether support groups were effective and helpful for veterans. Their study revolved around veterans who’d been attending support groups for over two years. The vast majority of the attendees had been attending their groups consistently.
The study showed that many different reasons prompted veterans to attend support groups. On the whole, veterans were having severe alterations in mood and thought. They felt alone and that the world was a dangerous place. Many veterans also indicated that they felt that if they revealed their actual thoughts to others, people would think they were crazy. As a result of not feeling healthy and well, many veterans started to isolate themselves from others. They began to avoid social interactions whenever possible. Another issue that brought veterans to support groups was experiencing severe symptoms of hyperarousal or hypervigilance. They acknowledged being easily startled and feeling like they had to be “on guard” all the time.
Veterans listed a host of other reasons that support groups helped them. They responded that the group helped them manage their PTSD symptoms and that the other members encouraged them to engage in therapy for PTSD. Some support group members stated that they liked the topics the support group put forth. Others established friendships with other veterans in the group.
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Are Ptsd Groups For Non
Another group that provides vast support for individuals living with PTSD is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives of the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
NAMI provides peer-led support groups for individuals living with mental health challenges. They also provider peer-led family support groups for family members of those who live with mental health challenges. NAMI has affiliates at the state and local level. Local affiliates provide educational programs and support groups at no cost to participants. The availability of free educational programs and support groups makes support accessible to everyone.
NAMI states that by sharing your experiences in a safe setting, you can develop supportive relationships that help you to regain hope. Support groups help you to feel heard and provide an opportunity for the group to help you meet your needs. NAMI support groups encourage empathy, productive discussions, and a sense of community. NAMI support group members benefit from each other’s experiences, discover their inner strength, and empower them to share their experiences in a non-judgmental space.
All NAMI groups rely on the following 12 Principles of Support: