Yesterday was the final day of President George Bush's 100K Bike Ride for PTSD Awareness – fifth annual W100K Warrior Mountain Bike Ride on his Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. The theme this year is the invisible wounds of war – post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Out of over 2 million men and women who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, one in five suffers from PTS.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an injury of war. President Bush's main goal of the Bike Ride is to raise awareness of PTSD not as a disorder but as an injury that is often misunderstood. He wants to rid PTSD from the stigma it has been given.
PTSD can have a major effect on a person's life, from education to employment to their family and personal life. This event is about honoring the service, sacrifice, resilience and continued leadership of any soldier affected by PTSD.
It it estimated that PTSD affects about 6 of every 10 (or 60%) of men and 5 of every 10 (or 50%) of women experience at least one trauma in their lives. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Men are more likely to experience accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or to witness death or injury.
T: Trauma of war injury
R: Replay experience and flashbacl
A: Avoidance, emotional numbing
U: Unable to function
M: More than a month of symptoms
A: Aroused, irritabiltiy, hy;per vigilance
Research is ongoing at the Cohen Veterans Center at New York University and other places. In the meantime, warriors at the W100K bike ride who suffer from PTS and TBI learn to cope by never giving up, and by channeling their energies in a more positive direction.