Warveterans are individuals who have served in the military,particularly those who have served in combat. In many countries, warveterans are given special treatment by the government since theirservices in the military is considered a sacrifice to the nation. Dueto the prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder and otherpsychological and social problems among war veterans in the UnitedStates, the federal government has established the Department OfVeterans’ Affairs. However, remains an important issue amongwar veterans. Post traumatic stress disorder refers to a psychiatricdisorder as a result of exposure to traumatizing event such asphysical or sexual assault, serious accident or terrorist attack andmost importantly military combat. Although some traumatizing eventsfade away with time, others such as long exposure to traumatizingcombat may result into serious mental problem such as post traumaticstress disorder. These mental problems may impair the life of theindividual. Post traumatic stress disorder is diagnosed by thesymptoms experienced as well as the history of the individual. Themain symptom includes being upset when confronted by a situation thatreminds the patient of the traumatizing event. Other patients avoidplaces and events that remind them about the traumatizing events. Inadditional to psychological and biological changes associated withthe condition, patients are also likely to develop other problemssuch as loss of memory, depression, cognitive problems and drugabuse. Psychotherapy and antidepressants are the main treatment(Andreasen, 67).
Posttraumatic stress disorder has evolved into one of the most importantveteran issues in America. Military personnel who have been deployedin different parts of the world, for example in the recent war inMiddle East or the Vietnam War experience traumatizing events. Thetraumatizing occurrences leave invisible wounds which may result intosevere brain injuries. This results in the development of posttraumatic stress disorders among other brain conditions such astraumatic brain damage and major depression disorder. The effects ofthe traumatic stress disorder affect the life of the individual intotality. Some of the symptoms and effects of the disease includesunhealthy behaviors and psychological problems which result intoincreased risk of drug abuse. Also, individuals suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder find it difficult relating with othermembers of the society due to the interpersonal challenges associatedwith the condition. As a result of problem associated with posttraumatic stress disorders, majority of veterans retuning from thewar in Middle East, Persian Gulf War and the Vietnam War aresuffering from major mental and physiological disruption resultinginto social and emotional problems. Although there are programs thathave been implemented by the US Marine Corps to address the problemand assists war veterans in the transition from combat to civilianlife, statistic on young soldiers returning from the war in middleeast indicate a worsening situation (Diane, 27).
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Therate of post traumatic stress disorder is argued to be higher amongwar veterans and military personnel. It has been reported thatbetween 2 percent and 17 percent of combat veterans in the UnitedStates suffer from . Also up to 31percent of the veterans andmilitary workers suffer from post traumatic stress disorder withintheir lifetime. The highest rate of up to seventeen percent has beenreported among Middle East veterans while the Vietnam War and thePersian Gulf War veterans follow in that order (Richardson, et al,4). However, post traumatic stress disorders have been reported amonggeneral members of the society. According to Mowery (89), hasbeen reported among parents with premature babies. Studies indicatethat these parents suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as aresult of chronic illness that usually develops among premature birthbabies. Post traumatic stress disorders have also been reported inindividuals who have suffered traumatizing events such as brutalmurder or traumatizing accident, as a child or an adult.
Whenthe psychological effects of any war are mentioned, the first thoughtwhich comes in ones mind are the solders. However, the effects ofpost traumatic disorder not only affect the solders lifes, but alsoaffect their families and the community at large. The symptoms of negatively affect the various aspects of the soldier’s lifeparticularly their work, mental health, relationships and physicalhealth. significantly interferes with the solders capability tocontinue working properly. They fail to report to their work stationsmore often and are less efficient when they work. Some of the symptoms such as sleeping problems and difficulties in concentratingmake it problematic for the solders to stay organized and concentrateon their duties at work and thus are unable to complete them in time.In addition, solders suffering from normally have problems withtheir relationship with their spouses, siblings and even other familymembers. They isolate themselves and become less supportive of theirfamily than before. Solders with are also at danger ofdeveloping other mental disorders such as depression, substance abusedisorder, eating disorder and anxiety disorder. Developing thesedisorders makes the condition for solders suffering from worse.In extreme cases, the solders with who develop other mentaldisorders are said to attempt committing suicide (Diane, 54). Also,solders with develop various physical health conditions amongthem are heart problems, diabetes, pain, obesity, sexual dysfunctionand respiratory problems. Though it is not exactly known why thedevelop these physical health conditions, it may be because of thefact that symptoms cause production of stress hormones and thismay result to eventually damage and inflammation of the soldersbodies. Solders with also engage in unhealthy behaviors such assubstance abuse and smoking which further add on their likelihood ofdeveloping physical health conditions which may cause harm theirbodies (Walter, 426).
affects every family member in various negative ways. They may feelfrustrated, alienated, discouraged or even hurt if the person intheir family suffering fro this condition loses interest in intimateactivities or family and gets emotionally detached or easily angered.In the end, these family members may end up becoming distant or angrytowards the affected person, particularly if he or she appears notable to relax. Also, family members normally have their sleepinterrupted by the affected persons sleeping problems such as severenightmares, being restless when sleeping, and aggressivesleepwalking. This could make them to get afraid when it comes to bedtime, start having terrible nightmares, or find it difficult to haverestful sleep at night. A couple in a family where one of thepartners has may find it hard to hold a cooperative because theaffected partner may find it hard to pay attention or listen withoutgetting anxious, tense or distracted , or because he or she feels that there is nothing to hope for. Also, a partner with may notbe able to discuss and solve family and personal problems becausethey become unreasonably fearful and anxious about problems turninginto terrible tragedies. The spouse of the person with this disorderat times gets caught up with the live of their children because ofthe need to have emotional feedback which is positive and beinglonely, or because they feel that their partner cannot be relied onas a responsible parent anymore. Also, taking care of the childrensingle handily is the only logical thing to do especially if thepartner with is excessively angry, critical to the children orabusing them either emotionally or physically. Addiction of thefamily member with to drugs and alcohol exposes other familymembers to domestic violence, emotional and financial problems. Inextreme cases where the affected family member is at risk ofcontemplating to commit suicide, the other family members becomeoverly grieved, worried and guilty (Bessel et al, 516).
Otherthan affecting the families and individuals with negatively, thepost traumatic stress disorder also has negative effects on thecommunity. results to dismissal of the affected people fromtheir work places because of not being efficient in their duties thusincreasing the number of unemployed people in the community. It alsoleads to high rates of alcohol consumption and substance use sincemost of the people suffering from this disorder turn on such thingsto relieve the symptoms. Another effect of is that itresults high school drop out rates. This is particularly for childrenwhose either one or both parents have because they lack parentalguidance and support to see them through their education. Theincreased number of individuals suffering from has evolved intoan important community issue. This is because of the extra carerequired by the patients as well as the risk associated with thepresence of mentally ill individuals in the society (Mowery 89).
AndreasenNancy C. Posttraumatic stress disorder: a history and a critique,Ann.N.Y. Acad. Sci.(2010), 1208 67–71.
Besselvan der Kolk and Diane Lisa M. Najavits. Interview: What is Really? Surprises, Twists of History, and the Politics of Diagnosisand Treatment, Journalof Clinical Psychology: In Session,(2013), 69(5), 516–522.
Diane,England. Thepost traumatic stress disorder relationship: how to support yourpartner and keep your relationship healthy,Avon, Mass.: Adams Media , (2009).
Mowery,Bernice D. “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (). In Parents: IsThis a Significant Problem?” PediatricNursing,(2011).Vol. 37, No. 2 pp 89-94
Richardson, Lisa K., B. Frueh, Christopher and Acierno Ronald. Prevalenceestimates of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder: criticalreview, Australian andNew Zealand Journal of Psychiatry(2010) 44:4–19.
WalterKristen H., Barnes, Sean M. and Chard, Kathleen M.. The Influence ofComorbid MDD on Outcome after Residential Treatment for Veterans with and a History of TBI, Journalof Traumatic Stress,(2012), 25, 426–432.