Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) Resources
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one's own or someone else's physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual's ability to cope.
As an effect of psychological trauma, PTSD is less frequent and more enduring than the more commonly seen acute stress response. Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal &$8212; such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
PTSD help on campus
William R. Harrar, Psy.D., a psychological counselor and director of BU's Center of Counseling and Human Development located at Student Services Center 240. He is qualified to handle people, as well as veterans who have some form of PTSD. There are two more counselors who have PTSD training but do not have the advanced training yet.
Harrar has training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
How can faculty handle students with PTSD?
Be sensitive to the student. If they observe the student being upset or can tell something is wrong ask the student if they are okay. If they would like to talk, step outside for a minute or if they would like them to escort them to the counseling center for help.
A student who might suffer from PTSD should inform faculty at the beginning of the semester. Ask the faculty to be careful on certain things they might say that would trigger a flashback, so the faculty can do their best to avoid saying anything that might upset the student.