Ptsd: Psychological Trauma and Ptsd Essay

Submitted By Cardona7595
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Asael Cardona
Professor Pullen
ENGL 1302
8 October 2014
PTSD
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that is mostly associated with soldiers in war, but can arise from any kind of traumatic experience. Many of the cases are related to a strong traumatic event including but not limited to: rape, near death experiences and witnessing severe deaths. The first cases of PTSD were encountered in American soldiers who fought in Vietnam. Many veterans after 1975, which was the end of the Vietnam War, failed to return to their normal life. How is PTSD affecting soldiers, their relationships, and families? And what is our government doing to treat our soldiers? In general; symptoms in a victim with PTSD include: fearful thoughts, flashbacks, hallucinations and bad dreams. Hyper arousal symptoms may also rise, such as feeling tense, being startled easily and having trouble sleeping. Even though these are symptoms to PTSD, it is very normal to feel these symptoms after experiencing a terrible event, therefore not necessarily signs of PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD can be divided into two groups; emotional and physical symptoms. The emotional symptoms are depression, intense guilt and feeling emotionally numb. One of the most important symptoms is “Anhedonia”, which is when the victim has a loss of interest in activities he/she once found enjoyable. Physical symptoms of PTSD are in most cases caused by the emotional symptoms of the victim, these symptoms are: neurological, respiratory, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular problems. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), there are three different types of post-traumatic stress disorders. If symptoms last less than three months, the condition is considered acute. If the symptoms last at least three months it is categorized as chronic PTSD. If the same symptoms are present at least six months after a traumatic event, the disorder is called delayed-onset PTSD (American Psychological Association). Military service member who are and have been deployed to the area of combat show high levels of emotional distress and PTSD. Both active duty and reserve component soldiers who have fought in war have been exposed to high levels of traumatic stress. As a consequence, many soldiers have developed various mental health problems such as PTSD. According to the American Psychological Association, “ PTSD is a long-term reaction to war-zone exposure that can last up to a few minutes, hours, several weeks, and for some a lifetime. ” In general, the younger veterans are more likely to develop PTSD when deployed. Not every soldier that experiences combat is traumatized and develops PTSD. “Many Soldiers’ families worry that because their loved one was involved in war zone combat exposure inevitably leads to PTSD. Fortunately, scientific research has proven that their worries are unfounded. Large-scale epidemiological studies have repeatedly demonstrated that it is only a minority of combat soldiers who subsequently develop PTSD (14). Many soldiers who have returned from battle are more vulnerable to PTSD than others, soldier who are emotionally stable and who handle combat stress relatively good are more bound to live their life more comfortably than those who don’t have good coping skills. Veterans who find themselves victims of PTSD, feel a sense of hopelessness, frustration, and sadness and tend to isolate themselves from people who they feel cannot understand them. Many soldiers retract themselves from informing about their state due to fear; “I was worried that if I told the army I had mental-health issues, I would lose my security clearance” (qtd. In Men’s Health). Due to this fear of losing their jobs, liability and image many soldiers have gone unattended. Veterans or soldiers who don’t search for treatment or help usually turn to substance abuse. (See table 1)
Table 1

(Department of Veteran Affairs)

The soldiers’ charity states, “There has been a growing suicide toll…