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  • 1. Miles 1Adam MilesMrs. LesterHon World Lit19 April 2012 Shaping SheetIntroduction Fact Statement: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has become a major problem for the soldiers serving in the United States Armed Forces. Since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of PTSD cases have drastically increased; up to 400% in some cases. Claim Statement: The Veterans Administration is trying to help our veterans recover. There are also many charities and other facilities that are helpful to veterans. However, more needs to be done to prevent PTSD from occurring in combat and researchers need to find a more dependable and successful treatment to give to our veterans. Thesis Sentence: It is essential that the society of the United States understand the nature of this epidemic so that it can help veterans adapt to civilian life.Research Question 1 How do soldiers develop PTSD? Paragraph 1 Topic sentence: PTSD is a disorder that affects the mental state of many of the veterans that return from the wars in the Middle East: concrete detail: Before learning about the available treatment for this disease, one ought to know how the disease is defined.
  • 2. Miles 2 commentary sentences: According to the American Psychological Association, PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is defined as an anxiety problem that develops in some people after extremely traumatic events, such as combat, crime, an accident or natural disaster. People with PTSD may relive the event via intrusive memories, flashbacks and nightmares; avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma; and have anxious feelings they didn’t have before that are so intense their lives are disrupted. concrete detail: PTSD has become a major problem in the modern wars. commentary sentence (2): Every year, more soldiers develop PTSD than the year before. Some statistics claim that there has been up to a 400 percent increase in PTSD cases in soldiers in the recent years. concrete detail: In sheer numbers, there have been 236,000 cases of PTSD out of 500,000 surveyed soldiers in one study. commentary sentence (2): These soldiers have been fighting since the beginning of the wars. According to this survey, almost fifty percent of the soldiers that have fought since the beginning of the war have developed PTSD.Wrap-up Sentence: PTSD has become a major problem in the army, and is most likelycaused by the brutality of today’s wars.Paragraph 2Topic Sentence: The veterans of the US military have developed PTSD because of thetype of combat that is seen in today’s wars.
  • 3. Miles 3concrete detail: Fighting styles used by the enemies of the US military create ahigh stress environment. As an army report puts it, “fighting insurgents andterrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq has been a nearly nonstop exercise in patrols,raids and firefights with no real battle lines. Even at a forward operating base,soldiers can be hit by a rocket, a suicide bomber or an Afghan who turns andstarts shooting Americans.” commentary sentence (2): Due to the fear of all of these tactics, soldiers are constantly under stress. Constant stress along with stressful events can lead to PTSD development.concrete detail: Another cause of PTSD is redeployment. Take Sgt. Bales forexample, the soldier who went on a killing spree supposedly due to PTSD. He hadserved three yearlong deployments in Iraq, and had witnessed some heavyfirefights. commentary sentence (2): This is the same for many soldiers. The soldiers’ minds cannot endure traumatic events. Logically, the more chances a person has to encounter a traumatic event that can cause PTSD, the more likely he is to develop this mental disease.concrete detail: A third reason for the development is the little time for recoveryduring service. Some soldiers, such as Eric Fowler, felt like they were always onfighting. He said, “We had 24/7 guard duty and we usually had 30-hour shifts.” commentary sentence (2): This duty was usually spent in a Humvee, and the time for rest in between was even shorter. Soldiers most likely took a
  • 4. Miles 4 major blow to their mental state due to the limited amount of rest time that they received.Wrap-up Sentence: The horrible sights that soldiers see during war is the cause for PTSD.When these soldiers return home, PTSD can have a major effect on their lives.Paragraph 3Topic sentence: Whether it is merely everyday life or violent crimes directed at others oreven themselves, PTSD severely affects soldiers that return home to the United States. concrete detail: The first way that PTSD affects veterans is in their civilian lives. One veteran, who did not wish to have his full name disclosed, said, “I was always having nightmares at night, and certain things trigger it: just, loud noises, or, I don’t like people behind me a lot of the time, or stuff like that. I don’t like malls with a lot of people in it. I hate it.” commentary sentence (2): This veteran cannot even enjoy sleeping at night or going to a mall. He has obviously been so mentally wounded by the war that everyday life becomes difficult. The sad thing is that he is so ashamed about this that he would not give his full name. concrete detail: Soldiers with PTSD are more likely to commit violent crimes upon returning to civilian life. An example of this is veteran Nelson Hopkins Sr. Hopkins was just recently convicted of armed robbery and earlier convicted of second degree robbery. He has sought out treatment for his PTSD with little success. commentary sentence (2): Hopkins is just one of the many veterans with PTSD who has committed violent crimes because of it. These crimes span
  • 5. Miles 5 from the robberies committed by veterans like Hopkins to murders in some cases. concrete detail: While some of the veterans suffering from PTSD use violence against others, others show violence towards themselves. An army report that there were 115 suicides directly related to PTSD in just one year during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. commentary sentence (2): These veterans are so troubled by their mental state that they feel like the only way to end it is to kill themselves. More should be done to prevent veterans from reaching this point. Wrap-up Sentence: This condition obviously affects soldiers’ lives greatly. In an effort to help these veterans, many psychologists prescribe medicine to the veterans.Research Question 2: Why is this condition so difficult to treat? Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: The medicine that is used to treat PTSD in soldiers does not work on the scale that it should for the United States’ mentally wounded warriors. concrete detail: Most veterans who return home are given antidepressants, sleeping pills, or anxiety medicines to help them cope with their PTSD. commentary sentence (2): These medicines help some soldiers with their symptoms. However, these medicines do not prevent the symptoms from recurring. concrete detail: A large number of the medications used to treat PTSD patients are opiate based. This medication has not shown to cure soldiers of PTSD. Also, when combined with other medication, these pills can cause suicide attempts.
  • 6. Miles 6 commentary sentence (2): The last thing that our veterans should be receiving is a medicine that can possibly cause suicide. These medications have not shown enough success to be used. concrete detail: A second problem that can be caused by medication is simply taking too much of it. One soldier, Spc. Victor Lewis, accused his battalion at Fort Bragg of overmedicating soldiers. commentary sentence (2): Overmedication does not improve a patient’s condition. In fact, it can cause problems in the recovery process.Wrap-up Sentence: There are a number of problems with the medication used to treatveterans, but there are still problems left for veterans to face.Paragraph 2: FacilitiesTopic Sentence: A common problem that soldiers with PTSD face is receiving treatmentfrom a good facility. concrete detail: A problem among many treatment centers and army bases is understaffing. The army standard ratio of mental health doctors to patients is one to fifty. However, some military bases as few as to 1 doctor to 265 patients. commentary sentence (2): This is a major problem for soldiers with PTSD. Without enough psychiatrists, these centers cannot do an effective job in treating each individual case. concrete detail: Active duty soldiers with PTSD face yet another problem. Army bases continue to deploy and use these soldiers even when they have developed PTSD. Of the 76,176 soldiers diagnosed with PTSD between 2000 and 2011, 65,236 of them were at some stage in their deployment.
  • 7. Miles 7 commentary sentence (2): One might wonder why these soldiers were not relieved of duty. The answer is most likely because the military needs all the people it can get to serve. concrete detail: Another possible challenge is the chance of a misdiagnosis. At Fort Bragg Army Base, there have been alleged misdiagnosis in an attempt to deny veterans military healthcare. commentary sentence (2): This was most likely done in an attempt to save money. However, the veterans who have been misdiagnosed are most likely suffering greatly due to it.Wrap-up Sentence: The facilities that are used to treat soldiers have problems that canslow recovery, but there are still more problems for our veterans.Paragraph 3Topic sentence: Remaining problems for veterans with PTSD exist. concrete detail: One problem exists in the initial diagnosis. Up to 80 percent of PTSD cases exist with another psychiatric disorder. commentary sentence (2): The other disorder can mask PTSD, which makes it harder to see the symptoms. This can make diagnosing PTSD very difficult. concrete detail: Symptoms of PTSD can also recur when triggered. For instance, many veterans with PTSD can have flashbacks if they hear a loud noise, or if someone stands too close behind them.
  • 8. Miles 8 commentary sentence (2): These flashbacks are the very problem that doctors are trying to cure. The triggers stunt the recovery of the veteran with PTSD. concrete detail: One of the biggest problems for veterans with PTSD is that they never sought treatment to begin with. commentary sentence (2): Many veterans do not want this help because they see it as a sign of weakness. Others feel that treatment will not help them, and others do not understand that they have PTSD. Wrap-up Sentence: Obviously, there are many problem that face veterans with, but there are also many things that are being done to help these veterans.Research Question 3: What is being done to cure soldiers with PTSD? Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: The military and Veterans Administration concrete detail: The Army does want to find a cure. Since 2007, the Army has invested $710 million in research. commentary sentence (2): This shows that the US Army is concerned about this problem. Hopefully, this large amount of money will find a better treatment for PTSD. concrete detail: The Veterans Administration offers many services to veterans suffering from PTSD. These services include, but are not limited to: One-to-one mental health assessment and testing, medicines, One-to-one psychotherapy and also family therapy, and group therapy.
  • 9. Miles 9 commentary sentence (2): Many of these services help veterans to cope with their PTSD. Veterans who use these services have a chance of living a normal life. concrete detail: For patients with more serious PTSD, the Veterans Administration also offer several other services. These are specialized treatments for cases that are not cured with basic treatment. Treatments of this type range from substance abuse and women’s treatment to 90 day hospitalization. commentary sentence (2): One can see that the Veterans Administration does not give up on veterans whose PTSD is not cured with basic treatment. It is good that the men and women in the Veterans Administration care this much about our veterans.Wrap-up Sentence: The army and veterans administration want to fix this problem, but sodo other organizations.Paragraph 2Topic Sentence: There are also several options other than the treatment offered by theVeterans Administration and Army. concrete detail: One of these options is to take part in clinical trials offered by universities across the nation. An example of this is the University of Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh has an extensive psychiatric program that deals with PTSD victims regularly. commentary sentence (2): Many of these programs ask for volunteers for trials. If basic treatment has failed veterans, they ought to consider volunteering for research trials.
  • 10. Miles 10 concrete detail: Several research centers are researching a medication that would enhance the brain’s ability to change during psychotherapy. commentary sentence (2): This would be incredibly helpful because it would allow the brain to change easier. Doctors would then be able to change the veterans’ brain in a way that would help cure them of their PTSD. concrete detail: Another form of treatment for veterans is merely discussing their condition with other veterans. These are called group therapy sessions. commentary sentence (2): Many veterans find these sessions helpful because they help to ease the pain of their traumatic memories. Veterans cannot forget these memories, but they can come to view them differently, which would help them live a better life.Wrap-up Sentence: There are many organizations outside of the veterans administrationand army that dedicate much of their time to helping veterans, and there are also civilianand charity organizations that can help.Paragraph 3:Topic Sentence: Society as a whole in America needs to help integrate its veterans backinto the normal life that they deserve. concrete detail: There are many facilities across America to help veterans suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other war related problems. An example of this is Shepherds Heart Veterans Home, an Uptown ministry for homeless veterans that offers rooms, food, counseling and training as well as weekly church services.
  • 11. Miles 11 commentary sentence (2): Places like these can help veterans adjust to normal life. Several of the veterans that stayed in this veteran’s home could not hold a job, keep a house, or have a good relationship. After staying here, these veterans were able to attain most of these things. concrete detail: Jack Grate, a judge that has had to deal with a PTSD related crime, said that, “Society does not have time for him to get solved.” commentary sentence (2): What Grates is saying is that society did not stop to help the veterans suffering from PTSD. Society should take the time to help the veterans that are struggling to make it in civilian life. concrete detail: The general public can do things to help veterans as well. One of the most helpful things that the public can do is advocate for them to get resources that they need. commentary sentence (2): The United States’ veterans need all the help that they can get. The people of America sacrificed many things in other wars, such rationing food and supplies. In this war, the citizens of the United States need to help soldiers get housing, treatment, work, education, and anything else that they may need to help them adjust to civilian life.Conclusion: The veterans returning from the modern day wars need the help of civilians. Thegeneral public does not know how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects returning warriors.United States citizens need to understand what these men and women are going through. It is thecitizens’ responsibility to help veterans return to normal life. These men and women risked theirlives to protect their citizens; and, in return, have suffered psychologically. The citizens, who
  • 12. Miles 12live a protected and peaceful life, owe it to these young men and women to help them achievethe same lifestyle.