Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
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According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) “PTSD is defined as a persistent and long-term change in thoughts or mood following actual or threatened exposure to death, serious injury, or sexual assault that leads to re- experiencing, functional impairment, physiologic stress reactions, and avoidance of thoughts or situations associated with the original trauma” (qtd. Williams 618). Post-Traumatic Stress disorder is a mental health condition that Affects millions of Americans each year. The disorder is strongly associated with veterans who have seen or witnessed the chaos of war experiencing trauma.
Soldiers are deployed every day to foreign countries, to fight and to defend the people of this nation who are protected by their unalienable rights written by the founding fathers. In the history of the united states of America wars like Vietnam, Iraqi Freedom, Desert storm, and enduring freedom are Wars that have been examined more efficiently thanks to the evolution of technology.
U.S. troops having to go to war is the result of PTSD in Combat veterans taking the lives of many, resulting in twenty-two inactive and active duty veterans who suicide every day. According to Dr. Lee “seventy percent of U.S. veterans that returned from Iraq experienced numerous life-threatening situations and reported significant higher rates of interpersonal conflict” (109).
Before being deployed according to Thomas et al, “U.S. troops with low prevalence of PTSD admitted serious PTSD or depression impairment within 3-12 months of active combat in Iraq, and half confessed to alcohol abuse, use of Tabaco, and aggressive behavior. (qtd. In Lee 109)”
A lot of our troops were put in the position of taking another humans life in order to protect their fellow battalion members, themselves, and executing the orders of higher command- doing their job. After combat veterans are left mentally and emotionally damaged having to remember the horrific events they experienced.
Veterans living with PTSD
Veterans Living with Post Traumatic stress disorder is one of the most Life threatening mental disorders to live with, because most people can get self-destructive to relieve themselves from the flashbacks, nightmares, and ongoing thoughts that haunt them every day. Life consist of thinking, the brain being the central organ of our nervous system which humans use to think. Also, being the organ that controls most of the activities of the body, and without it life would be insignificant.
PTSD not only affects your brain, but the way of life for veterans completely deriving from the negative affects it has on an individual’s mental health, physical health, Work environment, and relationships. According to Khoo and Dent “the national survey of mental health and wellbeing Makes PTSD now the most prevalent of all individual mental disorders” (644). Life with this mental disorder can be like being buried above ground, victims are constantly trying to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma.
Unfortunately, it Is very common for their memories to be triggered by simple ordinary things like, sights, smells, sounds or even feelings that they experience every day and can’t avoid. Memories of the trauma can usually cause intense emotional and physical reaction making heart rate rise, sweating, shaking or even impulsive anger making the veteran lose complete control of their actions.
Never really having much to say or wanting social interaction with anyone PTSD victims isolate themselves from the world around them making themselves more prone to have flashbacks of the trauma in the midst of their silence. Substance abuse is another major concerning problem in veterans with the mental health disorder. According to Cucciare et al., 2011 “found higher rates of lifetime and current illicit drug use in the subsample of veterans with PTSD relative to those without PTSD.
The most commonly used drugs among veterans with the mental health disorder included cannabis, cocaine, and amphetamines. (291)” veterans use drugs to cope with the symptoms of ptsd and or try to avoid reality as much as possible because it is easier, and gives them a sense of peace for a very brief period of time.
Treatment for PTSD
Although no cure exists for Post-traumatic stress disorder it can be effectively managed to rehabilitate the affected individual to be able to function normally. As with most mental illnesses no right or wrong approach exist when it comes to PTSD, there are many available treatments but in some cases doctors will recommend a mixture of one or more therapeutic approaches in order to measure up to the patience needs.
Some of the most common therapies used to treat PTSD include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, lastly group therapy proven to be the most affective. Group therapy is essential to most veterans suffering with the mental illness because it gives them a chance to connect and relate with other people who have been through the same trauma.
Support groups can help victims cope with their symptom and excepting what they are going through knowing that others are going through something similar. Prescription and over the counter medication can also help with PTSD but can only do so much. According to Khoo and Dent their “results replicate the magnitude of symptoms change seen with group therapy in previous research and provide longitudinal data showing that these significant and sustained outcomes showed improvement. (671)”
Cucciare, Michael A., et al. “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Illicit Drug Use in VeteransPresenting to Primary Care with Alcohol Misuse.” Addiction Research & Theory, vol. 23,no. 4, Aug. 2015, pp. 287-293. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3109/16066359.2014.984700.
Lee, Elizabeth A. D. “Complex Contribution of Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorderto Veteran Suicide: Facing an Increasing Challenge.” Perspectives in Psychiatric Care,vol. 48, no. 2, Apr. 2012, pp. 108-115. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.17446163.2011.00312.x.
Patel, Mitesh B. and Haripriya Maddur. “Case Report.” Journal of Family Practice, vol. 66, no.7, July 2017, pp. 450-452.EBSCOhost, lscsproxy.lonestar.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?diect=true&AuthType=ip,cpid&custid=s1088435&db=pbh&AN=123970862&site=ehostlive.
Khoo, Andrew, et al. “Group Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Military Service-Related PostTraumatic Stress Disorder: Effectiveness, Sustainability and Repeatability.” Australian &New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 45, no. 8, Aug. 2011, pp. 663-672. EBSCOhost,doi:10.3109/00048674.2011.590464.