Impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, speaking, lifting, hearing, seeing, reading, eating, sleeping, concentrating, or working. Major life activities also include the operation of major bodily functions such as brain, immune system, respiratory, neurological, digestive, and circulatory functions. Businesses and State and local government agencies must take reasonable steps to make it possible for people with disabilities to be their employees or customers.
Examples of reasonable accommodations:-Flexible scheduling at a retail store or restaurant, so a sales clerk or cashier with PTSD can attend counseling sessions or an employee with a spinal cord injury who has a lengthy personal care routine in the mornings can start his or her workday later. -Allowing more frequent work breaks or providing backup coverage when an employee who has PTSD needs to take a break.
PTSD example:-Modifying a no-pets policy to allow someone with PTSD to bring in a service animal that has been trained to calm the person when he or she has an anxiety attack.
Life threatening events: natural disaster (i.e., Hurricane Katrina), military combat, terrorist incidents (i.e., Boston), serious accidents, physical/sexual assault in adult/childhood3 kinds of symptoms: -1st: such as becoming upset when confronted with a traumatic reminder or thinking about the trauma when you are trying to do something else.-2nd: avoidance3rd: hypervigilance
Flashback: feeling like you’re going through the experience againSometimes there is a “trigger” – sound or sight or smell that causes you to relive the event
-Some people may keep very busy or avoid seeking help-This keeps them from having to think or talk about the event, perpetuating this “cycle” of symptoms
-Numb: may find it hard to experience emotions; may not have positive feelings toward other people (may lead to avoiding relationships, leading to feelings of isolation), may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy-Hyper-aroused: may always be on the alert and on the lookout for danger, may want to have your back to a wall in a restaurant/classroom, a loud noise can startle you easily
PTSD is an ANXIETY DISORDER-Biological changes: increased heart rate, blood pressure (stress response is heightened); psychological (hypervigilance, difficulty focusing)Additional disorders: depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health.
-Not everyone is affected……..“One in Ten” rule is a good rule of thumb in assessing reactions to large scale events 1.5% of the general population suffering from PTSD at any one time
Fear/anxiety: in moments of danger our bodies prepare to fight our enemy, flee the situation, or freeze in the hope that the danger will move past us. But those feelings of alertness may stay even after the danger has passed, so someone w/ PTSD may: feel tense/afraid, be agitated/jumpy, feel on “alert”Sadness/depression: sadness after trauma may come from a sense of loss(of a loved one, of trust in the world, faith, or a previous way of life). May: have crying spells, lose interest in things you used to enjoy, want to be alone all the time, feel tired/numbGuilt/shame: may feel guilty that you did not do more to prevent the trauma. May feel ashamed b/c during trauma you acted in ways that you would not otherwise have done. May: feel responsible for what happened, feel guilty b/c others were injured/killed and you survived (survivor guilt)Anger/irritability: anger may result from feeling you have been unfairly treated. Anger can make you feel irritated & cause you to be easily “set off” (short fuse). You may: lash out at your partner, have less patience with your children, over react to small misunderstandings.Behavior changes: you may act in unhealthy ways: drink, use drugs, drive aggressively, neglect your health, avoid certain people/situations
ASD PTSD Presentation NMSU Alamogordo
Angella Anderson, M.A., L.P.C.
NMSU Behavioral Health & Wellness Specialist
NMSU Counseling Center
ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination.
Allows those with disabilities to enjoy employment
opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to
participate in State and local government programs
The ADA covers people with a physical or mental
Employers are not required to provide
accommodations unless an employee requests them.
Example: if you´re a veteran with a hidden disability
like PTSD, you can decide whether to reveal the
disability and request accommodations.
If you don´t need accommodations, you don´t have to
disclose the disability.
Employers with fifteen or more employees must
comply with these provisions.
Businesses must make "reasonable modifications" in
their policies, practices, or procedures when necessary
so that people with disabilities can be their customers.
Businesses are not, however, required to make any
changes that would fundamentally alter or change the
nature of the business or its services.
A psychiatric disorder that can occur following the
experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events.
People with PTSD experience 3 different kinds of
1st: involves reliving the trauma in some way.
2nd: involves either staying away from places or people
that remind you of the trauma, isolating from other
people, or feeling numb.
3rd: includes things such as feeling on guard, irritable, or
Memories of trauma “come back”
May feel fear/horror in present as experienced during
Avoid people/situations that trigger memories of
May avoid talking/thinking about event
Example: may avoid crowds, driving (if you were in a
car accident or if your military convoy was bombed)
Avoidance takes energy!
PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as
PTSD is complicated in that some may develop
The disorder is also associated with impairment of the
person’s ability to function in social or family
life, including occupational instability, marital
problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties
Many Americans have experienced a traumatic event….
About 60% of men & 50% of women experience at
least one traumatic event
Of those who do, about 8% of men & 20% of women
will develop PTSD
1.5% of population experiencing PTSD at any one time
Fear or anxiety
Sadness or depression
Guilt and shame
Anger & irritability
*Most people with have some of these reactions at
first, but they will get better at some time.
*If symptoms last longer that 3 mos., cause you
distress, or disrupt life, you should SEEK HELP!
A distinguishing factor for PTSD is
that people begin to organize their
lives around the
trauma, consciously or
“Despite the human capacity to survive and adapt,
traumatic experiences can alter people’s psychological,
biological, and social equilibrium to such a degree that
the memory of one particular event comes to taint all
other experiences, spoiling appreciation of the
present. The tyranny of the past interferes with the
ability to pay attention to both new and familiar
How intense/long trauma was
How close you were to the event
How strong your reaction was
Higher risk groups:
Female or minority
Had earlier trauma (multiple traumas)
Other mental health problems
Recent stressful life changes
If you continue to experience these symptoms for more
than 3 months, seek help….
YOU CAN FEEL BETTER
Usually involves meeting therapist once a week for 3-6
Learn skills to better understand how experience
www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ (National Center for PTSD)
stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml (National Institute of
(National Alliance on Mental Illness)
“Mind-Body Workbook for PTSD” by Stanley Block &
Carolyn B. Block
“Trauma & Recovery” by Judith Herman