BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — June 27th is National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day, a day highlighting one of the silent mental health disorders impacting millions of Americans every year.
Thursday night the California Pinups & Patriots organization held their 3rd Annual PTSD Candle Vigil in downtown Bakersfield.
According to the United States Department of Veteran's Affairs, PTSD impacts eight million adults during a given year. The mental health disorder is triggered by a traumatic event and for many veterans, that event is war.
Common symptoms include reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind a person of their trauma, negative social changes in their beliefs and feelings, and feeling isolated or alone.
Mental health officials say a diagnosis of PTSD often carries a stigma of weakness, however that is far from reality. "This isn't your father's war, or your grandfather's war, it's ok to ask for help," said Ben Patten, Co-Founder of the Armed Forces Support Foundation.
Here are links to local resources and services: