Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, is a condition that affects people who have gone through a major traumatic or shocking event. This disorder is distinguished by “repeated thoughts about the ordeal, a dulling of emotions, an increased tendency to become excited or aroused and many dramatic personality changes.” (Soldiers’ Mental Health).The symptoms characterized with PTSD can vary widely among different individuals. Sometimes, symptoms can occur months after the event; in other cases it can take years before symptoms begin to occur. Symptoms can fade away after a short period of time but in other circumstances, they can last for many years.
There are a number of different ways to diagnose PTSD. The three main categories professionals use for this are; “intrusive symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and arousal symptoms.” (Soldiers’ Mental Health) Intrusive symptoms are those that disrupt a person’s normal everyday life. For example, flashbacks, which are the most disturbing symptoms of PTSD, can be triggered by sights, sounds, smells or feelings. Other intrusive symptoms are nightmares and distress when the event is mentioned. Avoidance symptoms involve trying to escape dealing with the ordeal, such as; trying to refrain yourself from thinking or feeling anything about the trauma, inability to remember the event, and having a sense that the past is approaching quickly. Lastly, arousal symptoms are very symbolic changes in a person’s mental state. Having trouble sleeping, memory loss, concentration problems, moodiness, violence, and extreme reactions to unexpected noises are all examples of the many arousal symptoms.(Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)
The first U.S. military conflict that brought mental illnesses (shell shock) impact on veterans to the world’s attention was the Vietnam War. Although, since there was no mental health documentation during the war, it wasn’t until years after that the rate of mental illness among the troops were obtained. Once the data was retrieved it showed that 31% of the male veterans and more than a quarter of female veterans from the Vietnam War were affected with PTSD.(Soldiers’ Mental Health) Decades after the VIetnam War, PTSD became one of the main medical conditions suffered by veterans of war. In subsequent wars, such as the Gulf War, as many as 10% of veterans suffer with PTSD. In the war in Afghanistan, 11% of veterans suffer from PTSD, and lastly at least 20% of Iraqi war veterans suffer from PTSD.(Feature: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD)
Many people don’t understand the huge toll the war takes on these soldiers. Nor do they realize the seriousness of PTSD and what measures need to be taken to contain and minimize the effects of this disorder. Despite the available treatments of PTSD, which include counseling and medications, their needs to be more steps to protect the soldiers. Due to the extreme amount of veterans suffering with PTSD and the lack of treatment available, our...