PTSD In Warfare

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Warfare is defined as an activity undertaken by a political unit (i.e. a nation) to weaken or destroy another. Warfare brings death, destruction, and utter chaos wherever it occurs. While the immediate result of warfare is largely physical and economical in regards to immediate death and destruction of property, the long-term effects tend to be mental, especially on those who participated in combat. The modern accepted definition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a psychological disorder in which the instinctual “fight or flight” response has been altered or damaged by, usually, situations that induce extreme fear, stress, and/or physical trauma onto the victim. There is no known cure for PTSD and the treatments that
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The traumatic event could range from war, national disasters, or other events that causes large amounts of death and/or makes one fear for their lives to an extreme degree (Mayo Clinic Staff). In soldiers, specifically ground troops, PTSD is largely attributed to the relatively close proximity to the deaths of both close allies and enemies as well as the extreme stress inducing environments and events that make up a modern combat deployment (Grossman). The symptoms of PTSD range greatly from individual to individual. The most common symptoms have been grouped into, but are not limited to, intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and/or changes in emotional reactions. Intrusive memories can be reoccurring memories of the experiences that are attributed to the development of PTSD, the reliving of the past memories in the present known as flashbacks, dreams of the traumatic events, and/or a severe emotional or physical reaction to an external stimulus that triggers a memory of the event. Avoidance normally includes efforts to avoid stimulus leading to remembering traumatic events and could lead to avoiding people, places, or things that could trigger the memories to surface. Negative changes in thinking and mood can be negative feelings of oneself or others, the apparent inability of positive thoughts, emotional numbness, lack of interest in activities …show more content…
A reason for the large amount of veterans that do not report PTSD could be due to many things, the majority focusing on the Cognitive and Sociocultural levels of analysis. There could be a non-response bias occurring, where for various personal or social reasons the veterans are not simply reporting their problems. Each military and even branches of the military has a different set of values and beliefs that they train each member to uphold; the values could dissuade members from acknowledging their mental state and seeking help, and thereby a large number of members would not report their symptoms. Another possibility may be the length of deployment. In a recent study, the length of deployment of a group of UK military personnel correlated with the percentages of reported PTSD cases (Rona). The study concluded that those who were deployed for 13 months or more in a single deployment had been associated with and increased amount of PTSD like symptoms. (Rona) While there may have been a non-response bias, this study suggests that those who do not undergo deployments for extended amounts of time have a higher chance of not developing symptoms attributed with PTSD. This study may also suggest that perhaps a large part of PTSD is just the brains inability to comprehend and adapt to the stress