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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Aug 8, 2022

With Renee Turnbell, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Therapist


Did you know that June is PTSD Awareness Month? Perhaps you might be asking, “What is PTSD, and what are the symptoms?” Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be defined as ongoing emotional distress or difficulty recovering from a traumatic event. A trauma is a shocking or dangerous event that’s either witnessed or personally experienced by an individual who feels their life is in imminent danger. Sadly, in recent years PTSD, and a newly diagnosed form of PTSD related to a history of repeated exposure to the triggering event, are on the rise. Many people think PTSD is associated primarily with veterans of war whose tour of duty has ended, yet the trauma of what they experienced is still with them. However, it’s important to note that you don’t have to be a veteran to experience PTSD. Virtually anyone can suffer from the condition. A variety of traumatic situations can result in PTSD such as physical assault, car accidents, sudden death of a loved one, sexual abuse, and more. If the lasting effect is a trigger for ongoing trauma, then it is PTSD. It’s estimated that 60% of men and 50% of women may experience a traumatic event at least once in their lifetime. As a result, 8 out of every 100 people will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. That’s why it’s so important to understand the underlying cause and effect, as well as the preferred treatments for this condition. The good news is that PTSD can be treated.


My guest today is Renee Turnbell. She’s a licensed clinical social worker and therapist with the John D. Dingell Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit. Through her work with the VA, Renee is very familiar with the symptoms, the impact on her patients, and how to successfully treat PTSD.


What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • What is Renee’s background and why was she drawn to the VA?
  • What is PTSD?
  • What is C-PTSD?
  • What are the main symptoms of PTSD?
  • Is PTSD considered a mental illness?
  • Do medications work for PTSD?
  • Is there a cure for PTSD?
  • Why are more first responders and healthcare workers experiencing PTSD?
  • What are the PLEASE Skills?
  • How can someone get diagnosed with PTSD?
  • What does Renee do to help her patients?
  • How do service dogs help with PTSD?
  • What should we do if we suspect a loved one is experiencing PTSD?
  • Other ways to seek help.


Today’s Takeaway: Current statistics indicate that roughly 12 million adults in the U.S. report struggling with PTSD. The key here is that these statistics are based only upon those cases reported. Way more people could be suffering from PTSD but may be unwilling to seek treatment perhaps out of a sense of shame or embarrassment. Being diagnosed with PTSD is certainly not a sign of weakness or anything to be ashamed of. PTSD is a very treatable condition and there is no need to go on suffering when help is readily available. Sadly, our society can be extremely harsh and judgemental. For someone who is already in an emotionally fragile state, the fear of how others may treat them may cause them to remain silent. That’s why it’s so important that people feel safe in admitting when they are struggling and feel supported in their efforts to seek help. Remember, that every day is a gift. If someone around us is suffering as a result of trauma, we need to be understanding and compassionate. Asking for help takes courage and we want to be part of their solution rather than contribute to their pain. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”



  • “Not everybody who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD.” — Renee
  • “Usually with good self-care and support, it won’t develop into PTSD.” — Renee
  • “When we think of an illness, we think of something being wrong with somebody. Somebody wouldn’t have PTSD if they didn’t experience the trauma.” — Renee
  • “PTSD actually affects the brain on a structural level.” — Renee
  • “There’s really no cure for PTSD, but some people can see a complete resolution of their symptoms through therapy.” — Renee
  • “I think that’s one of the biggest things; survivors sometimes do feel alone. And they don’t feel understood.” — Renee


Brought to You By:

Gardner White Furniture


Mentioned in This Episode:

John D. Dingell Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center

National Center for PTSD

If you are experiencing thoughts about harming yourself or others, you can text or call the Suicide or Crisis Lifeline at 988.