Government Emergency Alert system test - and what it means
As part of this test on the 23rd April, your mobile phone or tablet may make a loud siren-like sound (even if it’s set on silent), vibrate and read out the alert- which for people with PTSD or C-PTSD may be quite alarming, and potentially trigger some unwelcome symptoms.
The purpose of this post is to make you aware of this upcoming alert and know what to expect so you can prepare if you feel that this unexpected, alarming and loud noice may trigger flashbacks, panic attacks or other PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms.
Why this may cause issues for people with PTSD or C-PTSD
One of the many hyper-arousal symptoms of PTSD and C-PTSD is hypervigilance and this refers to the experience of being in a state of high alert, constantly tense and ‘on guard’ and always on the lookout for hidden dangers, both real and presumed – it’s stressful and exhausting to maintain.
This awareness, anxiety, sensitivity to the environmental around you, constant scanning and rescanning of the environment can make people with hypervigilance seemingly overreact to loud sounds and bangs, unexpected noises, smells, etc. – which is why awareness of this up-coming test is important.
What to expect
Your mobile phone or tablet may:
- make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
- read out the alert
The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.
An alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.
Please note, for your safety, we don’t suggest you turn the notifications off, however, the Government do provide instructions of how to opt-out of them:
To opt out:
- Search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’.
- Turn off ‘severe alerts’ and ‘extreme alerts’.
If you still get alerts, contact your device manufacturer for help.
You can find out more information about the alert service here.
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Treatments for PTSD
It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.