Detroit Arsenal learns more about PTSD
Tara Consolino, a counselor for John D. Dingell Veteran's Administration Medical Center, explains the process of numbing during one of many planned question and answer sessions to help explain Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to employees of the Detroi... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Detroit Arsenal teamed up with the John D. Dingell Veterans Administration Medical Center for a question and answer session to create awareness about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD can happen to anyone, any time after experiencing highly stressful or life threatening events. According to Tara Consolino, a counselor for the medical center, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can affect anyone, but typically affects individuals that are more prone to anxiety in general.

Symptoms can sometimes include an individual reliving the event that caused the PTSD, feeling anxious, emotional numbness, or a desire to avoid being around other people or situations.

The Detroit Arsenal Army Substance Abuse Program Manager, Billy Hallmark, helped set up and facilitate the session. He said, "a lot or people don't know if they have PTSD, and if you're really not sure and you fall into one of the categories, then it won't hurt for you to try and find out if you have it and get help."

Consolino said, "PTSD should be looked at along the same lines as diabetes." It shouldn't prevent individuals from living their lives.

PTSD has come to the forefront due to its association with veterans, but Consolino says it can happen with any individual no matter if you were a veteran or a civilian. She also notes that many individuals equate PTSD with being "crazy", but indicated that is not the case. Consolino summed it up when she said, "PTSD is a normal response to an abnormal situation."

The medical center uses a variety of medication treatments, non-medication treatments, and other therapies to assist individuals that are coping with PTSD. Consolino said, "I will never be able to take away someone's memories, sadly you're stuck with those." However, those that live with PTSD can learn to control their actions and not let the anxiety prevent them from living a productive life.

Consolino indicated that she wanted to continue to work with Detroit Arsenal supervisors to help them develop skills in dealing with employees who are coping with PTSD related issues and mentor them on how to help their workers through their PTSD diagnosis.

The majority of the Detroit Arsenal workforce are Army civilian employees. Civilians are critical to preserving continuity and providing essential support to the Army mission. TACOM's partnership with the VA Medical Center to create awareness about PTSD benefits the total Army force -- soldiers and civilians.