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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Day – observed on June 27 every year in the U.S -is designed to recognize the effects of post-traumatic stress on the lives of people. This one-day observance aims to generate awareness of post traumatic stress disorder – a mental health problem that may develop once a person gets exposed to one or more traumatic events. A serious psychiatric disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur in people who have either experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as accidents, natural disasters, a terrorist attack, military combat, physical or sexual assault/abuse or other violent personal assault. The condition can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur at a later stage after weeks, months or even years. If left untreated, PTSD can disrupt normal activities and the patient’s ability to function including job, relationships, health and enjoyment of everyday activities. Just as any other medical condition, PTSD must be accurately documented, and psychiatrists or psychologists treating this condition can rely on medical billing and coding companies to meet their billing and coding requirements.

According to reports from the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, there are currently about 8 million people in the United States with PTSD. It is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), women are twice as likely as men to get PTSD, and the symptoms manifest slightly differently. The 2020 one-day event aims to highlight the life-long struggle of people who get affected by it and how each of us can help make their lives just a little easier.

In some PTSD cases, words, sounds or situations that remind the patient of trauma can trigger symptoms. PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four different types namely – intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. These symptoms can differ over time and vary from one person to another. Some of the common symptoms include – intense mental or physical distress, problems with concentration, constant feeling of being on edge, bouts of anger, unpleasant memories or frequent nightmares about the event, negative thoughts about oneself, excitability, dizziness and fainting.

Physicians may normally begin their diagnosis with a physical examination to check for medical problems that may be causing the symptoms. Physicians may also conduct a psychological evaluation that consist of a discussion about the signs and symptoms and the event or events that led to the condition. Physicians may confirm the occurrence of the condition if the patient experiences problems that continue for more than a month and cause significant problems in his/her ability to function in social and work settings, and negatively impact relationships. The primary treatment of PTSD involves a combination of psychotherapy and medications. Psychotherapy involves different types – Cognitive therapy, Exposure therapy and Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Medications include antidepressants, prazosin and anti-anxiety medications. In addition, psychotherapists also offer stress management skills to help patients better handle stressful situations and easily cope up with stress.

Psychiatrists or psychologists dealing with PTSD patients must document the symptoms, screening tests and other treatment procedures offered using the right medical codes. Medical billing services provided by experienced billing and coding companies can help in timely claim submissions for accurate reimbursement. ICD-10 codes for PTSD include –

  • F43.1 – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • F43.10 – Post-traumatic stress disorder, unspecified
  • F43.11 – Post-traumatic stress disorder, acute
  • F43.12 – Post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic

Post Traumatic-Stress Disorder (PTSD) awareness day works as a perfect occasion to make the public more aware of this disorder, and to promote research to find further treatments, understand its causes, and determine what sort of preventative measures can be taken to keep it from developing in those who have experienced trauma. PTSD Awareness Day was first established in the year 2010 by the United States Senate. In the year 2010, Senator Kent Conrad took effort to designate a separate day of awareness in tribute to Army Staff Sgt. Joe Biel of the North Dakota National Guard. Biel suffered from PTSD and committed suicide in April 2007 after returning to his home state from North Dakota following his second tour of duty in the Iraq War. Sgt. Joe Biel’s birthday – June 27, was chosen to mark the official PTSD Awareness Day in order to honor his memory. However, in 2014, the Senate designated the full month of June as National PTSD Awareness month.

As part of the observance, several open talks and discussions about PTSD, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options are conducted. The Department of Defense publishes circulars, articles, and other materials to help educate and inform military members and their families about the condition.

Celebrate PTSD Awareness Day on June 27 and observe the difference in the lives of people who have experienced trauma.