June 30, By Jason Cohen
Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) is working to raise awareness of two mental health disorders that she says are frequently misunderstood and often go untreated – Borderline Personality Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Simotas introduced two resolutions that memorialize the month of May as Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month and June as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Month.
Both were passed by the Assembly.
“There are people living every day with these devastating mental disorders and they deserve our compassion and support,” Simotas said. “Increasing education and public awareness is crucial to expanding access to treatment and helping people gain relief from heartbreaking symptoms and gain happiness and fulfillment in their lives.”
The resolution on Borderline Personality Disorder, adopted by the Assembly on June 20, notes that the condition affects an estimated six percent of adults, approximately 14 million Americans, yet under-diagnosis and misperceptions delay or prevent treatment and recovery. Those with the disorder who do not get treatment are more likely to develop additional illnesses.
According to Disabled World, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by instability in moods and behavior. The disorder disrupts a sufferer’s work and family life as well as his or her sense of self-identity.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) frequently affects those who serve in the military as well as victims of physical or sexual abuse. Without proper treatment PTSD sufferers can experience high rates of intense anxiety, depression, suicide, substance abuse and homelessness. The resolution was adopted on June 15.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, anyone can develop PTSD. This includes war veterans, children and people who have been through a physical or sexual assault, as well as disaster and accident victims. According to the National Center for PTSD , about seven or eight out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and genetics may make some people more likely to develop PTSD than others.
However, not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some people develop PTSD after a friend or family member experiences danger or harm. The unexpected death of a loved one can also lead to PTSD.