Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And Veterans Essay

2962 words - 12 pages

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (commonly known as PTSD) is an important issue associated with military soldiers. The primary focus of this paper will be on the causes of PTSD and the effects it has on returning soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will attempt to elaborate on the soldiers' experiences through my own experiences in combat both in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will explain what PTSD is, look at the history of PTSD, how people get it, and differences of PTSD between men and women, and treatment options.

As far back in history as we can go, humans have been in a fight for survival. There have been battles with gigantic mammoths, soldiers charging the front line with swords drawn or teachers witnessing neighbors being gassed to death. These are all significantly stressful situations that can lead to PTSD and have been around for centuries. For as long as there have been humans fighting there has been PTSD, it just wasn’t a term yet.

During the Civil war, problems with PTSD became so severe that the first ever Military Hospital for the insane was established in 1863 (Bentley). Before that, since Military officials didn’t know what to do, or what was wrong with these physically able men they just threw them on the street or sent them home. With so many insane soldiers walking around, it was the public who insisted that something be done to help these soldiers and keep them off the street (Bentley).

It wasn’t until 1905 during WWI that there was a link made between the mental collapse and the stresses of war(Bentley). There were so many cases of PTSD at first that officials believed it was caused by the concussion of shells on the brain, so they called it “shell shock”. It was the Russians who finally realized that this mental breakdown was coming from soldiers being on the front line, as those were the ones exhibiting the most problems.

As the years went on, more was learned about this “battle sickness” and the appropriate therapies to treat them. Since more cases are found in the military, it was primarily military doctors who have formulated the treatments and plans to help those with PTSD we have today.

PTSD is defined as an "anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or happens to you” (United States). In these types of events one can feel that they are not in control of what is going on around them and may feel helpless or in great danger. The Department of Veterans Affairs has listed various life threatening events that can evolve into PTSD. These events include but are not limited to "Combat or Military exposure, child sexual or physical abuse, terrorist attacks, sexual or physical assault, serious accidents, such as a car wreck, natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake” (United States).

With the traumatic events causing PTSD come the reactions people will...

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