June is Trauma and PTSD awareness month, so I decided it would be a great topic to discuss today. New insights are still being learned about trauma, how it impacts the person and what PTSD is. (PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Somewhere in the vicinity of 7%-8% of Americans will have PTSD sometime in their lives; about 8 million adults have PTSD in any given year. (www.ptsd.va.gov). This is amazing and such a small percentage given the number of people who experience a traumatic event each year. Think about the number of people affected by the floods in Texas…or the number of people affected by hurricanes…or the number of people affected by wild fires each year…or even smaller – the number of people in serious car accidents. Any one of these (and more) could trigger the body to have PTSD reactions. Think about adults and their capacity to cope with things that happen in their lives. We learn coping skills as we grow up; we learn from our environment and those around us how to respond to situations. Think then, about children. They do not have the same coping capacity adults do. Things we may think are so trivial as adults are so meaningful for children. For example, how many of you know an adolescent who became suicidal over a relationship breakup? As adults, we move on, but as adolescents this is traumatizing! For kids, even seeing something scary on television can be traumatic to their sense of safety about the world. This week I hope you will go out there and learn a little more about PTSD. Do some research on it, or talk with someone about it. The VA is a great website to start with. Observe children and teenagers and think about yourself as a kid…what would have been traumatic to you then that seems so trivial now? Open yourself up to understanding what sorts of things, events, etc can be traumatic to a child as well as to an adult.