Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder have been reported in as many as 30% of veterans after service in Vietnam and in more than 10% of US military personnel returning from the 1991 Gulf war. Epidemiological studies to date have largely focused on retrospective data or select groups. Prospective investigation of the causes of the disorder in large, population based military cohorts has been limited.
However, even as far back as those involved in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam have had symptoms of PTSD, although possibly not as recognized as it has been in recent years. Vietnam veterans particularly have now been being diagnosed and treated for post traumatic stress symptoms.
PTSD is a mental condition that can occur after someone has gone through a trauma. A trauma is some type of a shocking or frightening event in which a person thinks his or her life might be in danger. Often PTSD involving military members is called shell-shock or combat stress. Trauma may also be a series of events such as abuse, but there is a common theme—the person feels no control over the happenings.
The most common symptoms of PTSD include, but are not limited to recurring memories of th...
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...ossibly two years of duty, have not truly established themselves as adults in civilian life. There are other indicators that a person might develop PTSD. If a veteran or other sufferer:
•Had an earlier life-threatening event or trauma, such as being abused as a child
•Have another mental health problem
•Have family members who have had mental health problems
•Have little support from family and friends
•Have had recent, stressful life changes
•Drink a lot of alcohol
•Are a woman
•Are poorly educated
Some groups of people, including African-Americans and Hispanics, seem to be more likely than Caucasians to develop PTSD. Possibly this is because these groups go through trauma more often. For instance, for those who returned from service in Vietnam, a larger percent of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans were in combat than whites.
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