What is Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome?

What is PTSD and what are its symptoms?

Let’s face it — talking about mental health in the Philippines is not very easy. Conditions like panic attacks and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) only come into public consciousness when they’re mentioned in the news. Take for example the Filipino soldier who was suffering from PTSD and was shot by the police during the quarantine period.

Although there are several studies on Filipinos and PTSD (such as comparing treatment-seeking and non-treatment seeking Filipinos) this condition is not widely – or comfortably -discussed in Filipinos’ everyday lives.

However, one can argue that it has been present in society and even in art. For example, Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere features a character called Sisa whose life drastically changed when her boys went missing. Since then, the term “Sisa” has been synonymous with crazy because of the way the mother acted after this traumatic experience. Who is to say that she is not simply suffering from PTSD?

 

PTSD in the Philippines after the pandemic

In recent years, journalists have covered PTSD in relation to the impact of natural disasters (e.g. Typhoon Yolanda) and conflict and violence (e.g. Marawi siege). For the longest time, PTSD has been associated with war veterans who have undergone intense hardships or particularly bloody batters. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be getting more PTSD cases among frontline workers and the general public.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that mental health illnesses will increase because of the pandemic. Health workers, frontliners and people who have lost someone during this pandemic will be dealing with the stress and grief that can affect them long term. [https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf]

People who have also lost their jobs and livelihood during this time may also have to deal with PTSD. In the Philippines, we also have cases of Locally-Stranded Individuals (LSI), which includes students, overseas workers and the unemployed, who have been stranded in cities, living in unsafe temporary shelters and waiting for transportation to go back to their provinces.

There is also the story of Michelle Silvertino, the 33-year old single mother who lived and died under the footbridge of a highway while waiting for public transportation. This angered netizens and prompted the Government to improve on their Balik Probinsya Program.

This is why it’s not surprising that many scientists are saying that the next pandemic is a mental health crisis.

To better prepare ourselves for this inevitable reality that many of us or our loved ones will be facing, let’s learn more about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

What does PTSD mean?

PTSD means Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a condition that often occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

Because of the trauma, it affects a person’s way of life. For example, a person may become avoidant of situations that may remind him or her of the trauma. They may also have flashbacks or nightmares about this difficult experience.

PTSD can happen to both men and women, young and old, regardless of one’s race or culture. PTSD can be the result of traumatic experiences such as wars, abuse, or natural disasters.

What are the known symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD can manifest in several ways:

  • Memories and thoughts of the traumatic episode become very intrusive
  • You experience a lot of flashbacks that are so vivid, it feels like you are reliving the experience
  • You actively try to avoid anything that will remind you of the experience, including people, places, activities, and even objects
  • You try to avoid talking about the traumatic experience
  • Negative feelings and thoughts take over your life
  • You suddenly find it very difficult to trust people
  • You have an ongoing fear, anger, guilt, or shame about the experience
  • You no longer enjoy the activities that you used to like
  • After the traumatic incident, you feel detached or estranged from other people
  • You find yourself being more irritable or you become angry really fast over the smallest of things
  • It’s also possible that you start to engage in self-destructive activities such as taking illegal substances
  • You scare easily or you become very paranoid
  • You have trouble concentrating or sleeping

 

How do I know if I have PTSD?

To know if you have PTSD, it is best that you talk to a mental health professional who will give you a proper diagnosis of your situation. If you find yourself exhibiting several of the symptoms listed above, that’s your cue to contact your nearest mental health center.

 

PTSD vs. Panic Attacks

A panic attack is another mental health condition wherein a person can experience intense feelings of fear without the actual danger. They are characterized by nausea, dizziness, and trembling.

On the other hand, PTSD is often triggered by re-experiencing the traumatic event. For example, when the person dreams or has flashbacks of the disturbing event, he or she can have heart palpitations, shortness of breath, etc.

 

PTSD vs. Anxiety Attacks

When panic attacks recur and become a long-term condition, they can become anxiety attacks. The symptoms should be present for at least six months before a diagnosis can be made.

The symptoms of PTSD and anxiety attacks may overlap which is why you need the opinion of a medical professional to determine your condition properly.

 

Can I get PTSD from emotional abuse?

Yes, you can get PTSD from emotional abuse. While not all emotional abuse can lead to PTSD, it is very possible that PTSD can develop after a particularly shocking or frightening experience. Emotional abuse can be counted as psychological trauma which can have the same effect on the body as physical trauma.

People who have developed PTSD because of emotional abuse are categorized to have the complex type of PTSD or C-PTSD.

What are the types of emotional abuse that can lead to C-PTSD?

Being treated a certain way by a partner, a relative, or even a friend can be counted as emotional abuse, especially if these things happen:

  • Your personal freedom is taken away
  • You are separated from other people
  • You are not given a right to privacy or you feel that your personal space is being taken over
  • They use threats to control or manipulate you
  • They threaten other people who are close to you
  • You are constantly being humiliated or belittled

 

Where do I get help for PTSD?

The bad news is that PTSD is not 100% curable. Like other mental health conditions, the symptoms can only be effectively managed so that the individual can function in his or her everyday life.

A lot of doctors recommend a combination of medication and therapy to improve the lifestyle of people who have PTSD. Meditation and breathing techniques can also do wonders to calm the mind of people who have PTSD.

Organizations like the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) that respond to the mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by disasters, conflict and violence offer a wide range of services for people who are dealing with PTSD. IAHV teaches simple, evidence-based techniques that have been shown in 70+ independent scientific studies to reduce anxiety, depression and PTSD by 60-90%.

If you want to reach out to IAHV Philippines, simply email us or send us a message through our social media channels.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Donor update

Since we have begun our N95/KN95 mask donation drive at the start of the pandemic, we have distributed almost 36 thousand masks to frontliners all over the country.

The battle in the Philippines is far from over though, and our frontliners need your help. With your kind donations we can help give these life-saving masks to these modern heroes.

Please donate here.

If you represent a hospital or group seeking to procure masks, please contact us or visit our Facebook page.

We thank you for your kindness in advance, and urge you to stay safe!

Mask header

N95 / KN95 Masks: Your Questions Answered

As the COVID pandemic continues and personal protective equipment start running out, there’s understandable confusion as to what facial masks to use. What is the difference between N95 vs. KN95? Is it safe to use KN95? What is a standard/industrial dust mask vs. surgical/medical grade? What is FPP1, FPP2, FPP3?

We at  have compiled this list of resources to help everyone make well-informed choices on what masks to buy, use, or donate.

The bottom line is, with richer countries cornering the N95 market and driving factory prices up, exponential increase in shipping costs, and China tightening requirement for PPE export, what alternatives are accessible, affordable and safe?

——————————

1. The US FDA approves use of KN95 due to shortage of N95.

https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/faqs-shortages-surgical-masks-and-gowns

2. N95, KN95 and FPP2 are all similar. There are different names for different countries of origin. 

https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1791500O/comparison-ffp2-kn95-n95-filtering-facepiece-respirator-classes-tb.pdf

3. Standard N95 masks—classified as dust masks for industrial use—are allowed by CDC for use in health care settings.

“Most HCP caring for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients should not need to use surgical N95 respirators and can use standard N95 respirators. If a surgical N95 is not available for use in operative or procedural settings, then an unvalved N95 respirator may be used with a faceshield to help block high velocity streams of blood and body fluids.”

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html

4. KN95 masks are also classified as standard and medical/surgical. Standard KN95, as the equivalent of standard N95, can also be used in healthcare settings based on parameters given in #3.

Surgical KN95s have the following codes:

– GB 19083-2010 “Technical Requirements for Medical Protective Masks”

– YY 0469-2011 “Medical Surgical Masks”

– YY / T 0969-2013 “Disposable Medical Masks”

Standard KN95s have these codes:

– GB 2626-2006 “Respiratory protective equipment self-priming filter anti-particulate respirator”

– GB / T 32610-2016 “Technical Specifications for Daily Protective Masks”

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&u=http://www.cem.org.cn/rhtml/20200304/index.htm&prev=search

5. European standard classifies protective face masks/respirators as EN 149:2001+A1:2009 and has 3 classifications:

– FPP1: filters at least 80 % of the particles measuring up to 0.6 μm

– FPP2: filters 94 % of the particles measuring up to 0.6 μm

– FPP3: filter 99% of all particles measuring up to 0.6 μm (when working with oncogenic or radioactive substances or pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungal spores FFP3-class respirator masks are recommended)

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1224943O/disposable-respirator-catalouge-eu.pdf

https://www.uvex-safety.com/en/knowledge/safety-standards/respiratory-protection/ffp-protection-classes/

6. 3M manufactures BOTH KN95 and N95 masks. 3M is also one the most counterfeited.

Check your 3M N95 through:

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/worker-health-safety-us/3m-safeguard/

7.  Learn how to spot counterfeit masks:

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/usernotices/counterfeitResp.html

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/usernotices/counterfeitResp.html

IAHV continues to distribute N95/KN95 masks to our frontline workers. As of this posting, we have distributed 33,422 pcs. of N95/KN95 masks, of which 19,390 pcs were donated to government hospitals and agencies.

To support our work, please donate:

BDO

SM Aura branch

International Association for Human Values Foundation (Philippines), Inc.

Acct #008018014976

PAYPAL:International Association for Human Values Foundation (Philippines), Inc.

Stress release sessions 1

Online Stress Release, Recovery and Resilience Lessons – Free!

Everyone is welcome to join our free online stress release, recovery and resilience sessions for COVID-19 frontline workers and the public! We will be going live every Tuesday 8:30 PM (Philippine Time) on our Facebook page. Click on the Interested or Going button above to receive a reminder.

Our trainers will take you through 35 minutes of simple, evidence-based breathing and relaxation techniques to

* Reduce stress
* Increase energy
* Boost the immune system
* Provide deep rest

This is a joint initiative with Art of Living Philippines.

View scientifically supported studies here.

We have donated over 15,000 masks. Our frontliners need more.

Please donate.

Since the beginning of the extended community quarantine in the Philippines, IAHV has donated over 15,000 life-saving N95/KN95 masks to our health and military frontliners all over the country.

As the number of new infections rise (over 3,800 as of today), personal protective equipment for our frontliners are becoming more scarce and the need is dire. Fortunately, we have secured a new shipment of N95/KN95 masks and we need funds to bring them into the country.

We need your help. Please donate.

BDO
Bank Name: Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc.
Branch Name: SM Aura Premiere
Bank Address LG/F SM Aura Premiere, Bonifacio Global City, Brgy. Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Bank Tel. No.: +63.2.8856.5320
SWIFT code: BNORPHMM
Account Name: International Association for Human Values Foundation (Philippines), Inc.
Account Number: Acct #008-018-014-976

Paypal:
International Association for Human Values Foundation (Philippines), Inc.

E-mail us for inquiries.

Calling for COVID-19 Donations

If there ever was a time to donate in your lifetime, it is now.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has yet to peak. In the Philippines, as of this writing, we have 380 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 25 deaths. Public health experts believe the real number of infected is in the thousands. A lack of testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPEs), and adequate medical facilities and equipment are sadly all contributing to the chaos. Our frontline workers battling this pandemic are woefully in need of PPEs. Simply put, if we let them continue working the way they are now, without protection and exhausted at all levels, then our health system will surely collapse and thousands may die.

 

IAHV Philippines has distributed 5,000 pieces of N95 masks to 45 hospitals, PNP and AFP in one week’s time. It’s just not enough.

 

We have been able to reserve 50,000 pcs. more – a miracle in itself to find available stock. We need to import from China. We need the funds to make it happen.

 

However much you can donate, it will help.

 

Please send your donations to:

BDO
Bank Name: Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc.
Branch Name: SM Aura Premiere
Bank Address LG/F SM Aura Premiere, Bonifacio Global City, Brgy. Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Bank Tel. No.: +63.2.8856.5320
SWIFT code: BNORPHMM
Account Name: International Association for Human Values Foundation (Philippines), Inc.
Account Number: Acct #008-018-014-976

 

Paypal:
International Association for Human Values Foundation (Philippines), Inc.

 

E-mail us for inquiries.

SKY Programs Launched for the first time in the Philippines

In collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we launched two of our pilot projects that address the needs of the youth vulnerable to violent extremism. These programs are:

1. SKY Campus Program – in partnership with Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (XU), targeting university students, faculty and staff; and

2. SKY Community Youth Program – in partnership with Thuma Ko Kapagingud Service Organization, Inc. (Thuma) targeting hard-to-reach and out-of-school youth in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte.

These programs aim to help heal post-traumatic stress, build resilience against stress, peer pressure, and eventually radicalization. We also hope to empower youth to be game changers and peace leaders inside and outside school.

The programs will run for three years and last December 8 was the first session.

IAHV Philippines Launches its First Peace Building Activity

From June 19 to June 21, 2019, The IAHV Philippines team, in partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philipines (AFP), visited three areas in Lanao del Sur, Mindanao. We conducted peacebuilding introductory workshops among the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, an insurgent group, former Maute-ISIS returnees and local government units.

It was the first time ever that these groups were together. Although the tension and uncertainty was high in the beginning, we are happy to report that it was a resounding success! The sessions were productive, the participants were involved, and there was an overwhelming feeling of hope over the three days.

Imagine what else we can do!

We’d like to share some testimonies from the participants:

“(The) MILF brothers are the happiest. They are not crying outwardly, but inside, they are crying with joy because of this camaraderie. Our troops really want this to happen again especially since our families need it” –Sommy Mangandog Panda “Commander Bangladesh”, 101st Command, Northeasatern Mindanao Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)

“Before we couldn’t sleep. We feared that the military would run after us. We fear our fellow ISIS co-fighters because they want to kill us. We felt (because of the activities) that this is how to release anger in your life. It was peaceful. It can help us, our children and our families. Because sometimes we don’t know how to release and control our anger.” -“Randy”, Former Dawla Islamiah (Maute ISIS)

“We are very happy that we saw the cooperation between the troops of MILF and the Philippine Government. I am so happy! I have been dreaming of this for a long time, wherein the struggles of both sides will result in achieving true peace for all the youth and citizens of the entire Mindanao.” -Ahmad Sabilullah Lintuan, 101st Command, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)

“I…quote from one of the commanders how he wished that his comrades were alive to see this day, to see that they have finally won peace together with the soldiers and the community. And everything they fought for was not in vain.” -Capt. Ron Villarosa, Jr. 103rd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, Philippine Army

Kerala Flood Rescue, Relief and Rehabilitation Efforts

While those on ground zero strive on, you can lend them a helping hand, no matter where you are…
RESCUE  |  RELIEF  |   REHABILITATION  

Relief material from IAHV/Art of Living headquarters in Bangalore, heading to Kerala


The Extent of damage…

IAHV and The Art of Living Foundation volunteers have been on the ground helping with relief efforts in Kerala this past month. We have been receiving updates from them on progress being made. As you know more than 50% of the Kerala map has been affected by floods. With heavy rainfall this monsoon season, flooding and landslides are a continuous threat. Transportation and communication is yet to be streamlined. More than 200,000 families have taken refuge at relief camps across the state. The Government states the damage is more than $2 billion.
Thousands of Art of Living volunteers have come to the respite of the flood victims, saving them from the mishap systematically with Rescue, Relief and Rehabilitation efforts.
 
We are grateful to our donors for their support to IAHV’s flood relief efforts.  We seek your continued support in reaching our target to raise $500,000. Many employers match your contributions to IAHV, please contact your employer. 
 
Please donate generously!

Handling Rescue operations…
More than 1,650 flood victims across the state have been rescued by the volunteers of the Art of Living.
 
The HAM radio support system setup via the collectorate offices operated by our volunteers had received more than 15,000 rescue calls that had been routed to the support stations across the state.

Offering timely Relief …
Relief materials of about 520+ tons have been sent via container trucks and other modes of transportation to several of the afflicted zones in Kerala. More on the way.  Additionally continued free medical care, distribution of home kits, clearing transportation pathways, cleaning of homes and institutions are in progress. 
Here is a short summary on supporting relief materials amounting to roughly about $1.35 million. 
Kerala Flood Relief facts and figures


Executing planned Rehabilitation… 

When it comes to disaster relief, it is equally important to bring back life to normalcy and setting up a system of sustenance for the evacuated victims and sheltered families in Kerala.

Activities in-progress are
  • More than 45 medical camps have been held. Free medical check ups and treatment in relief camps.
  • More than 120 trauma relief workshops have been conducted by trained Art of Living instructors for victims to overcome stress and trauma.
  • Skills and leadership training are being provided to the youth to boost self-reliance and enable them to rebuild / sustain their communities.


Pictures from our ground volunteers…
 
While Kerala is battling its unprecedented crisis in its own way, it is heartening to see the IAHV & Art of Living volunteers from across the country come together and provide relentless support.

Here are few pictures they have shared with us. We are grateful for their selfless service. You can find more updates and pictures on our IAHV twitter feed.

Huge containers with relief material on bound to Kerala
Sending relief materials to Kerala

Volunteers distributing relief materials 

Our volunteers with rescued flood victims

Cleaning flooded homes

Cleaning in progress

Clearing of debris

 Setting up much needed electricity

Clearing pathways

Team work…

Offering Trauma relief

Evacuated victims taking a few moments to meditate

Trauma relief to evacuated victims

Trauma relief to evacuated victims

Medical care in camps
 
We thank you for your continued support,
 
IAHV Team

Appeal for Kerala Flood Relief

Dear Friend,

This August, the South Indian state of Kerala has witnessed the most disastrous monsoon in over 100 years. More than 200,000 people have been rendered homeless and more than 300 left dead, with no means of access – roads, electricity, mobile phone networks, and transport. Cochin airport lies dilapidated and closed until August 26. 41 of Kerala’s 44 rivers are overflowing. Kerala’s residents need your help!

IAHV in partnership with Art of Living Foundation is responding to this situation. Over the past few days, hundreds of volunteers were deployed in relief work across several districts of Kerala. They have been distributing food, water, essential supplies and providing shelter to people in the hardest-hit districts.

IAHV and Art of Living Foundation’s staff and volunteers are trained to handle high disaster areas. With experience in disaster relief of over three decades and a wide partner network, we follow a proven three-pronged approach:

  • Immediate Relief, through supplies – food, water, medicines, clothes, and other basic amenities;
  • Post-Trauma Relief, through trauma relief counseling, meditation, and breathing programs; and
  • Long-Term Rehabilitation, through assistance with rebuilding shelters, vocational training,

This approach has helped thousands in multiple situations (including the recent disasters in Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Assam) recuperate quickly and get back to the main stream of their lives.

With your support, IAHV & Art of Living Foundation is working relentlessly to help alleviate the suffering of those severely affected. At times of crisis, collective resolution can go a long way to help those who need it most.

Your donation can mean the difference between life and death for people caught in the aftermath of this natural disaster. Your financial support would go towards offering food, clean water, hygiene & shelter kit, medical aid and help rehabilitate flood-affected survivors.

Donate now to IAHV KERALA FLOOD RELIEF and make a difference. IAHV is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are fully tax-deductible.

Donate Now

We thank you for your generosity.

IAHV Team in partnership with The Art of Living Foundation

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