Moraine Valley Community College
11 Dec 2014
In 1982, a research grant was submitted by the Department of Veterans Affairs resulting in the diagnosing of post-traumatic stress disorder. It was described as a physiological medical symptom linked with war experience. The personal accounts of American soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) date to the present Iraq/Afghanistan war and as far back as the civil war. The term PTSD did not exist until it was diagnosed by researchers, prior to that it was referred to different tittles and some believed it didn’t exist. Researchers concluded the disorder was developed when a soldier is exposed to traumatic situations, it does not leave physical damage but physiological damage affecting them even after the battle has ended. The aspects soldiers deal with, on a day in and day out basis during a combat battle can only be truly explained in a soldier’s life testimony.
During the beginning of World War I soldiers were referred to as suffering from “Shell Shock” later referred to as having “Battle Fatigue”. General ……… soldiers endured great hard ship dealing with traumatic experiences that no civilian could ever explain unless they have been through it themselves. Regardless of what type of person is wearing combat boots nothing could prepare them to see humanity at its worse. Soldiers are trained for one purpose and that is to be prepared for battle. They are pushed to their physical limits, installed with instincts to kill without any compassion to their enemy. The emotional detachment makes it difficult for a soldier to return to the social norm. A person develops PTSD in response to exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor involving direct personal experience of an event.
PTSD was split into five criterions, criterion B is were an individual experiences flashback and nightmares of specific events. Criterion B is the recurrent recollection of the event, reliving or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring. Exposure to an intense distress activates the episode. Examples are nightmares, flashbacks, shaking or sweating. Criterion C is the numbness an individual experiences to avoid thoughts about the trauma. They avoid anything that reminds them of the event and at times suffer from the inability to recall the event. The important aspect of trauma they avoid news, movies, crowded stores, drinking alcohol and drug use. Criterion D is the increased arousal of an individual, they have difficulty falling and staying asleep. They have difficulty concentrating, exaggerated sarcastic responses. An example would be high aggression, insomnia, keepings guns and checking locks. Criterion E and F is the duration of the episode lasting at least one month causing functional problems.
Time after PTSD was diagnosed researchers noticed other people with complex trauma were affected beyond veterans. They suffered from trauma histories such as victims of incest, child abuse, and domestic violence. They lacked aspects of normal emotion, cognitive, and neurobiological development. They suffered from concentration, somatization issues with chronic hyper arousal then eventually loathing themselves for what happened to them. The greatest inspiration for PTSD was Kardiner’s book The Traumatic Neurosis of war. He described his observations of World War I veterans suffering from a “physio-neuorsis”. Their bodies continued to react as if their stuck in the traumatic moment even taking the physical at the time of the trauma, such as fighting back, ducking, or becoming frozen.
Traumatized people of pure PTSD which are a small population often become alcoholics or drug addicts. They are depressed having issues with eating and self-injury. PTSD Traumas usually have more of a personal aspect they occur in the context of an intimate relationship.