First of all, it’s important to understand what PTSD is and the nature of this debilitating illness. The American Psychological Association defines PTSD as “an anxiety problem that develops in some people after extremely traumatic events, such as combat, crime, an accident, or natural disaster” (apa.org). A specific classification of PTSD symptoms that most returning soldiers have are called “re-experiencing symptoms” which can range from mild, such as surges of panic, to very severe, such as dissociative episodes. During a dissociative episode, the sufferer can lose track of time and be plunged back into a traumatic event, which can cause them to be highly aggressive and unaware of their surroundings (health about). Another specific form of PTSD that has only recently begun to be discussed is Military Sexual Trauma. MST, as its name states, is a form of PTSD brought on by rape, repeated sexual harassment, or sexual abuse by a fellow soldier or superior du...
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...the necessary competition to improve quality of care for veterans seeking help as well as hold all parties accountable so as to prevent malpractice.
In conclusion, PTSD is as widespread among veterans as it is debilitating and the U.S government has done a less than adequate job providing them with the healthcare they are promised. This illness causes an immense amount of pain physically, emotionally, and psychologically and effects more than the individual. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs has long been in desperate need of reform. Because of the VA’s blatant incompetence, veterans are resorting to substance abuse, losing their homes and families, and in far too many cases, their lives. Fortunately, the stigma of mental illness is slowly but surely diminishing, allowing room for discussion and hopefully improvement of mental healthcare and treatment provisions.
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