Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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In all honesty I did not hear the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) until some time after I re-deployed from Iraq in mid August 2003. Surely the term had been around long before them, but it wasn’t commonly used acronym in the military. I didn’t have nearly the frequent use that is has in today’s Army. Nowadays, everything a Soldier does is associated with PTSD even if the Soldier has not been diagnosed with it; it has become such a ill-used word that from what I can see everyone is try to jump on the band wagon. So if Soldier is late for my formation, the first thing he says is, “I must have PTSD or something, I need to get check out”, well the whole time I am thinking the Soldier just didn’t want to get up this morning, he doesn’t have PTSD. So I can understand how the screening for PTSD may be a bit diluted as everyone [thinks] they have it, even those who are new recruits and have never even been to combat.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011). Although not all individuals who have been traumatized develop PTSD, there can be significant physical consequences of being traumatized. For example, research indicates that people who have been exposed to an extreme stressor sometimes have a smaller hippocampus, the region of brain that plays a role in memory, than people who have not been exposed to trauma (MedicineNet, 2011).
Often family member those diagnosed with PTSD find themselves often feeling hurt, alienated, or discouraged because the patient has yet to overcome the ordeal of this trauma (Hall, 2008, p. 226). The additional stressors that families face by their uniformed Soldier going to war is both physical and emotionally draining, however, they must understand in order for the Soldier to be effective, they must be able to cope with the warrior culture and warfare associated with the 21st century (Hall, 2008, p. 227). When a family member goes to war, the impact on those left at home can be challenging.

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Essay

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Readjusting after your service member returns can also take time. The entire cycle of deployment can be a painful and frightening times. Family members need to be heard without judging or criticizing what they say. The more family members can communicate with one another, the less long-term strain there will be on the family (U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 2011).
Untreated PTSD can have devastating, far-reaching consequences on the patients functioning, relationships, their families, and for society. Emotionally, PTSD sufferers may struggle more to achieve as good an outcome from mental-health treatment as that of people with other emotional problems (MedicineNet, 2011). Families are dramatically affected and are instrumental in the recovery of the person diagnosed with PTSD. Combat veterans having been diagnosed with PTSD have a high rate of marital instability than those without. Those Vietnam veterans with PTSD were twice as likely to be divorced that those without (Hall, 2008, p. 228).
Economically, PTSD can have significant consequences as well. As of 2005, more than 200,000 veterans were receiving disability compensation for this illness, for a cost of $4.3 billion. This represents an 80% increase in the number of military people receiving disability benefits for PTSD and an increase of 149% in the amount of disability benefits paid compared to those numbers five years earlier (MedicieNet, 2011).
To conclude, the inclusion of family members in treatment increases the likelihood of enduring change (Hall, 2008, p. 229). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has the propensity to change your relationship within the community. Some people may shy away from you because of your PTSD. Because of the stigmatization about PTSD, others may look down on you because of your condition. People may believe things about PTSD that aren't true, which can cause them to treat you and your family differently (U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 2011). Many therapeutic approaches for working with clients diagnosed with PTSD but the most effective interventions have been anxiety management, cognitive and exposure therapy. Although pharmacotherapy is not considered a cure for PTSD, it can be utilized as a managing tool. Seeming the best option for those mildly affected has been with group therapy, where discussions can be brought out in an open session with those that can relate on an emotional and experiential level (Hall, 2008, p. 233).

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