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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has been a topic of recent study, and wasn’t thought of as a disorder until the 1980’s. Most everyone refers to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental illness that is often seen in the military, however, it can affect anyone that has seen trauma in their lives. There is funding in place for those that suffer from PTSD, however some believe that their needs to be more funding, while others don’t think any more funding needs to be put into Veterans’ Affairs research.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has been recognized throughout all of history. Classic and early literature both recognized the reactions of PTSD, however, it was first diagnostically defined in 1980. (M.J. Freedman) There has been a lot of research regarding PTSD, it first spiked awareness in Veterans returning from Vietnam. “PTSD is due to a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Therefore, a lot of our military men and women have developed it. This triggers a response in our brains to help defend against danger or avoid it.” (Sapperstein, Robert p6) Symptoms of PTSD often develop within the first month after the traumatic experience, symptoms must last for more than one month, and the symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with someone’s everyday life to be diagnosed with PTSD. If you have symptoms of PTSD, you must go to a doctor whom has experience with mental illnesses to be diagnosed.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have symptoms that last for a month or longer. There are many symptoms to consider when diagnosing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Most symptoms of PTSD are different from person to person. These symptoms include: Experiencing one flashback, having bad dreams, staying away from crowded places that you would otherwise normally go to and not have a problem with, and staying away from objects that didn’t use to have any affects on you but do now, such as guns, fireworks, and loud noises. The person with PTSD symptoms may also avoid speaking about their traumatic experiences to avoid an episode.It’s not just adults that can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a child or teen can also develop symptoms of PTSD, especially if they have had a troublesome childhood, and were abused. Most children that experience PTSD have had some sort of history with sexual abuse or mental abuse, this will carry on with the child for the rest of their lives. When a child or teen has PTSD, often the parents can look for symptoms such as bed wetting and acting out, as they don’t understand how to cope with what and how they are feeling. (NIMH)
Veterans’ don’t just deal with having a psychological disorder, there are currently Veterans’ losing homes, relationships, jobs and more. Psychiatrist and author Jonathan Shay explain how veterans’ personalities can be so different when they come home from combat. “In combat, you have to shut down those emotions that do not directly serve survival.” When veterans’ return home they shut down, they don’t know how to react to different emotions of everyday life with family and friends.
“Some treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder include: medications, talk therapy, and family support. Treatments may differ from one person to the next, some people may act great toward the medications, while some need medications as well as talk therapy.” (NIMH) Those that experience signs and symptoms of PTSD must be treated by a health professional who is experienced with mental illness. While PTSD cannot be cured, the signs and symptoms can be treated through talk therapy. However, the person suffering will need to continue going to talk therapy for it to continue to be beneficial, and work through speaking with someone other than your family.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has been a topic of a lot of areas in the last 10 years. There have been more research studies performed on those with PTSD to see how exactly those are affected. Funding for PTSD has seen a rise to dig deeper into an explanation, and research on preventing its development.
The cost of treatment for PTSD is rather large, as Veterans’ are struggling with how to pay their own bills and afford things for their every day lives. In recent studies it has found that those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have spent over $8,300. That is just for one-year of treatment. Imagine having to go to treatment for the rest of your life, for something that you really have no control over. The Veterans’ Health Administration spent over 3.7 billion dollars on funding Veterans’ with PTSD just from the years of 2004 to 2009. (Cushman p3) They have since spent more than that on funding for Veterans’ with other disorders that are brought on by war.
Some studies have shown that Veterans’ are very over diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to this being a very common thing in the military. A lot of people don’t think that PTSD should be funded to the military due to such an over diagnosis. Some do think however, that there needs to be more analyzing studies to determine whether a person has PTSD. Some people are even skeptical as to how PTSD is a disorder. (Dobbs p5)
To treat issues that are associated with PTSD in Veterans’, they can receive drug therapy, as well as talk therapy. “Mental health experts say that the military’s prescription drug problem is exacerbated by the U.S Central Command policy that dates to October 2001. It provides deployed troops with a 180-day supply of prescription drugs under the Central Nervous System formulary.” (B.Brewin)
There is currently a battle between some health-care professionals as well as civilians that have never been involved with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The argument is whether PTSD is an injury, or a disorder. There are also some people that believe that the “D” should be dropped in PTSD as they don’t believe that it is a disorder, but an injury. On the other side, there are psychiatrists that diagnose this as a disorder, as they believe that it isn’t just war veterans that develop PTSD. “Those who support dropping the “D” believe that doing so will drop the stigma that is around PTSD.” (B.A.Moore) Instead, dropping the D, will make PTSD turn into more of an injury rather than a disorder. B.Moore States that he “Believes that simply changing the name of the disorder will do little to increase the access to care for the troops, or change the perceptions of the American people.” If the “D” is dropped off of PTSD, veterans’ as well as others, may not seek the help that they need since it would be considered an injury.
Post-traumatic stress disorder effects so many people in our country, in many ways. PTSD is a very common disorder, more people in our lives may have this disorder than what we even realize. Each symptom could be different from person to person, the signs or symptoms of someone whom has PTSD are flashback, dreams, outbursts, or nightmares. PTSD doesn’t have a specific age of people that it could affect, it also doesn’t matter if it is a child, an adult, or a veteran. Anyone can develop PTSD if they have had any sort of trauma in their lives. If you think that someone in your family may be suffering from PTSD, talk to them, have them get into therapy, ask them if they would like you attend therapy with them, make it as comfortable as possible for them.
Works Cited Page
- “The National Institute of Mental Health” https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml A brief history of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Friedman, Matthew “History of PTSD in Veterans: Civil War to DSM-5” United States Department of Veterans Affairs. December 2018. https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/what/history_ptsd.asp
- Saperstein, Robert and Dana “The Emotional Wounds of War” Reprinted from Military Review. Jan 1992. P54-61. -SIRS Issues Researcher
- “PTSD: Disorder or Injury” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-camouflage-couch/201410/ptsd-disorder-or-injury
- Miller, Kaysee “Relying on the Care of Others” Coast City Weekly. June 2019. P10. -News Bank, Access World News
- Glance, Jody “Integrated Brief Intervention for PTSD and Substance Use in an Antepartum Unit” Maternal and Child Health Journal. May 2019. P592. -Gale
- “Military’s drug policy threatens troops’ health, doctors say” https://www.cchrint.org/2011/01/18/militarys-drug-policy-threatens-troops-health-doctors-say/
- Dobbs, David “The PTSD Trap: Our over diagnosis of PTSD in vets is enough to make you sick” March 22, 2012. P5 https://www.wired.com/2012/03/the-ptsd-trap/
- Cushman, John “New Study Gives Scope and Cost of Combat-Related Conditions Among Veterans” February 24th, 2012. https://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/new-study-gives-scope-and-cost-of-combat-related-conditions-among-veterans/
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