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Invisible Wounds: A Glimpse Into Ptsd

3584 words - 14 pages

Trauma is a powerful force on the human mind whether it is from a vehicle crash, discovering a cheating spouse, a terrible fire, a drive by shooting, or events experienced in a combat zone. At that moment when a traumatic experience occurs, a person is often changed forever. Dan is a person who was affected dramatically by trauma. He is an army veteran who served two tours in Iraq. During his second tour in Iraq, Dan and his fellow soldiers were traveling in a Humvee when it set off a roadside bomb. Several of Dan’s friends were killed or critically injured. Dan finished his last tour and returned to his home near Fort Hood Texas where he found himself feeling constantly on edge. He felt distant and detached from his wife, Heather. He was relieved to be home but had difficulty relating to day- to- day activities of those around him. Dan found himself lacking the sense of belonging and purpose he felt while he was on tour. He often saw the face of his dead friend when he closed his eyes and felt guilty for surviving his tours. He never let his guard down and felt anxious around groups of people. He began self medicating with marijuana and alcohol. Fights with his wife became more and more frequent (Beckner 16). Dan and thousands like him are victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, the term that is used to summarize all of the struggles that Dan is going through. Throughout the last ten years, Dan and over 200,000 other soldiers and marines have been afflicted with this life devastating disorder (Aikins par. 6). This is why is the United States government needs to do more about the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder epidemic in the military, because it has negative military effects negative social effects and negative health effects.
People often ask “What is PTSD?” and the answer to that question is not easily answered but the simplest answer would be: PTSD is a deep mental and soul wound that a person gets after experiencing a traumatic event. In recent years the United States military has experienced a PTSD epidemic due to the large amounts of soldiers and marines returning home from combat with this disorder. This epidemic has taken the lives of hundreds of fighting men and woman due to the heightened suicide rate that has been caused due to side effects of PTSD. In fact, in 2012 more soldiers and marines committed suicide than were killed in combat (Aikins par. 3).
In addition to the drastically high increase in suicide likelihood that is caused as a result of PTSD there are also a wide range of additional negative social effects that soldiers and veterans must face on a day- to- day basis.
The soldiers of the United States military are extremely skilled at their jobs. Because of their training they understand that if they hesitate in combat that they or someone they care about will be killed. So from day one service men and woman are taught to be proficient in a war zone. The problem is that “becoming good at war often...

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