PTSD Among Soldiers of War <br />By: Cynthia Padilla<br />
What Is PTSD?<br /><ul><li>Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless (Help Guide, 2011).
PTSD is a serious and fast growing epidemic in our US Soldiers. Although it has been an issue for quite some time, it is safe to say that not until recent years has anything been done about it. Many studies indicate that a majority of individuals exposed to severe trauma develop posttraumatic stress disorder</li></li></ul><li>Symptoms<br /><ul><li>"Descriptions of sequelae of extreme traumatization often involve symptoms and impairment better characterized by DESNOS-like alterations of consciousness, affect and impulse regulation, and self-organization than by the fear, avoidance, numbing, hyper arousal, and hyper vigilance cardinal to PTSD" (Ford, 1999).
These are all critical chattels to take into consideration when diagnosing and/or treating someone or in this case soldiers with PTSD. </li></li></ul><li>How can PTSD affect a persons daily life and future?<br />"I usually feel depressed. I've felt this way for years. There have been times I've been so depressed that I won't even leave the basement. I'll usually start drinking pretty heavily around these times. I've also thought about committing suicide when I've been depressed. I've got an old .38 that I snuck back from Nam. A couple of times I've sat with it loaded, once I even had the barrel in my mouth and the hammer pulled back. I couldn't do it. I see Smitty back in Nam with his brains smeared all over the bunker. Hell, I fought too hard then to make it back to the World (U.S.): I can't waste it now. How come I survived and he didn't? There has to be some reason" (Jim Goodwin, 1987)".<br /><ul><li>What people don't realize is how much PTSD can affect a person's daily life and future. I want to share a statement from an American Vietnam Veteran and what he said about his life ten years after the end of the war.
PTSD as shown in this Vet's statement can control your life for days, months or years after the initial point of exposure. </li></li></ul><li>Research Study<br /><ul><li>In the study of 6,201 service members, the researchers surveyed four different groups: "Army brigades before they went to Iraq, after six months in Afghanistan and after eight months in Iraq; and Marine battalions after six months in Iraq (Press, 2004)".
It is said that 1 in 8 soldiers become diagnosed with PTSD after coming home from a war zone. We have to take into consideration that this number is based merely on the soldiers that have actively seeked out help. </li></li></ul><li>ContinuedResearch Study<br /><ul><li>In this specific study of 6,201 service members, symptoms of major depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder were reported by 16 percent to 17 percent of those who served in Iraq, 11 percent of those who were in Afghanistan and 9 percent questioned before they left.
"The differences were greatest for post-traumatic stress disorder with about twice as many with PTSD after Iraq (12 percent) than Afghanistan (6 percent). Before deployment, the rate was 5 percent, about the same as the general U.S. population (Press, 2004)".</li></li></ul><li>Treatments<br /><ul><li>Many take the route of group therapy. This is very beneficial to veterans and soldiers because all the members of this group have and are going through the same disorder. Groups provide a microcosm in which he can again learn how to interact with other people. It also helps to remove the fear, prevalent among these veterans/soldiers, that each individual veteran is the only individual with these symptoms.
In addition, "many of the veterans form close support groups of their own outside the therapy sessions; they telephone each other and help each other through particularly problematic episodes (Jim Goodwin, 1987)".</li></li></ul><li>Continued Treatment <br /><ul><li>It is also important to take into consideration that many soldiers won't seek out help because of the fear of being kicked out of the military.
"In the latest study, only 38 percent to 40 percent of those who indicated mental health disorders were interested in getting help, and 23 to 40 percent reported seeing someone for help. They cited concerns about how they would be seen by peers and the potential damage to their careers (Press, 2004)".</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br />Although PTSD among soldiers goes without acknowledgement, I feel that I have done it some justice. Many soldiers live with PTSD day in and day out for years and some throughout their lifetime. Having a father that deals with this disorder(due to the war fought in Vietnam) on a day to day basis and a husband who is currently deployed has made me want to make others as well as myself aware of this issue. <br />
Video<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzbpW5NMfls&feature=player_detailpage<br />Please take into consideration that this video may be hard for some to watch; this said the video also shows the reality of what our soldiers go through on a day to day basis overseas. <br />
References<br />Brian Engdahl, P. T. (1997). David Baldwin's Trauma Informations Pages. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/engdahl-97.php<br />Charles S. Milliken, M., Jennifer L. Auchterlonie, M., & Charles W. Hoge, M. (2007). The Journal of American Medical Association. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from JAMA: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/298/18/2141.short<br />Ford, J. D. (1999, Feb). David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/ford99.php<br />JILLIAN F. IKIN, B. ,. (2004). BJPsych. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from The British Journal of Psychiatry : http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/185/2/116<br />Jim Goodwin, P. (1987). David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/goodwin.php<br />Johnson, L. (2011, Jan 29). PTSD: Conquering Military Suicides with Hope. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from CBN: why do US soldiers get PTSD<br />Marcelo L. Berthier, M. A. (2001). The Journal of Neuropsychiatry. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from Clinical and Research Reports: http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/13/1/101<br />Mathew J. Friedman, M. P.-C. (1994, June). Iraq War Clinician Guide. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://www.addictioncounselorce.com/articles/101200/I-101200.pdf<br />Onno van der Hart, A. v. (2000). David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages: http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/vdhart-2000.php<br />Press, A. (2004, June 30). Mental Health MSN. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from MSN: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5334479/ns/health-mental_health/t/returning-soldiers-suffers-ptsd/<br />