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  June Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may occur after someone goes through a traumatic event such as combat, assault or a disaster. It is common for people to have some type of stress reaction after a trauma. If the stress does not go away after time, and disrupts your life, you may have PTSD.
  June is PTSD awareness month and in an effort to help as many people as possible, we urge those who may be suffering from symptoms of PTSD, or those who have family members impacted by a trauma, to take a self assessment made available to the public by Screening for Mental Health, Inc.

According to the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, about 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime…and the numbers are even higher for members of the armed forces. For more information on resources for those with PTSD symptoms, visit the National Center for PTSD.


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The “S-Word”
The "S-Word" on Vimeo.  

Connor Bickford Describes The Suicide Epidemic In His Own Words…

Take a look at our society today. Go ahead. Think about it for a little bit. We have become obsessed with our appearance, how we look to others, and how others think about us. This has led to an epidemic. You may be thinking, “Well, there isn’t an epidemic. I haven’t heard about a disease on the news or anything.” But it’s true. There is an epidemic that is spreading across our country.

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The word itself makes society cringe at the pure thought. The s-word. No, I’m not talking about the four-letter curse word. I’m talking about another word, a seven-letter word that is widely looked down upon. Suicide. All demographics are affected by this seven-letter tragedy. Suicide takes nearly 30,000 American lives every year. And that’s just a minor fraction of the tragic numbers of people that are taken by suicide all around the world. First, we’ll look at why suicide is looked down upon in our society and how we can change our view of it. Then, we’ll see why victims look at suicide instead of seeking help and how we can get them help before it’s too late. And finally, I will be talking about a personal experience with suicide and how it changed me to help alter the world’s view of it.

Now, you’re starting to think about suicide and the “propaganda” behind it. I say propaganda because there are those of us who say suicide is just someone who is a coward and that suicide isn’t a real disease. I don’t know who those people are, but they are flat-wrong. Suicide is a real mental disorder. It is someone trying to say that they needed help. They aren’t insane. They are just normal people. However, society doesn’t see suicide from this point of view. Society looks upon suicide as someone who was crazy who killed themselves. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Another reason to why suicide is looked down upon is because even though there have been talks about suicide and awareness of suicide, it has not caught the attention of the public eye to change their opinion. Instead of looking at it as someone who took their own life, look at it as someone who wasn’t able to get help to better themselves.

There are many warning signs of possible suicide that someone may express if they are depressed, such as sleeping a lot or talking about feeling hopeless. In some situations, a person may mask their symptoms and not express any warning signs. With these signs comes the question of why people commit suicide in the first place. In many cases, it has been reported that victims had been depressed, feeling hopeless and giving up on living in the world. reports that depression was the number one disability in the world in 2010. So from that, it looks pretty obvious that depression and suicide are more than just some minor thing. If you are ever in situation where someone you know is suicidal, don’t avoid it. It could be the difference between saving a life and losing one.

As I mentioned earlier, I told that I had a personal experience with suicide in the past year. Someone I knew had been dealing with depression. I didn’t know whether or not it would lead to their death as I had not been exposed to anything like it before. Your first question might be, “Who is this person you are talking about”, which is a question that relates this experience back to me. This person was my brother. His name was Jerad Lee Bickford. He died February 19 this past year. I didn’t really see any of the signs, partly because I didn’t know any of the warning signs. Looking back on my brother’s behavior before his death, I see some of the signs of suicide as those reported by psychologists and physicians. My brother’s death made more aware of this epidemic of depression that is leading to the death of loved ones.

It also made me aware of the fear that those with depression feel about talking about their depression and suicidal thoughts they may have. It makes these people feel embarrassed and singled-out that they are depressed because society has made suicide seem like an obstruction in our world. This is what needs to be changed in our world. We need to face suicide instead of hiding away from it. It’s a real thing that occurs every day. With more education about suicide, this “propaganda” can be turned into awareness which could possibly just save a life.

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