Post-traumatic stress disorder is described as a mental disorder that is accessioned by traumatic events that might have threatened the safety of an individual, and therefore, the individual feels somehow helpless (Koren et al. 276). In most cases, PTSD is associated with soldiers who have served in major battles, as well as with persons who have experienced horrible situations in their life, for instance fatal accidents, violation of human rights for instance rape among others.
According to Koren et al. (277), about 20% of Vietnam War veterans suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and/depression. However, it is worrying to note that more that 50% percent of the affected soldiers do not seek treatment. In addition, only half of those seek treatment receive “minimally adequate treatment.” Statistics further indicate that 19% of the veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are at a higher risk of suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI).
According to Penk and Irving (55), Post-traumatic disorder is a common problem in the military. Most soldiers, especially those that have served in the battle field, are negatively affected by these experiences. This is evident based on the observations on war veterans, especially those that served in the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. Their lives were affected both physically and emotionally (Penk and Irving, 99). Research that has been carried concerning the cause of post-traumatic stress disorder among the soldier who took part in the Vietnam War, shows that this problems resulted from confrontation with or exposed to experiences that were stressful and on a personal basis. Such experiences include confrontation with the enemy, witnessing the death of comrades during war, and physical and physiological integrity threats.
According to MacDonald, Kerry, Nigel and Ross (702), the affected soldiers displayed various post-traumatic disorder symptoms on their return from war. To begin with, distress is one of the common symptoms that the soldier show especially, when they recall some of the events they experienced, their feelings and thoughts at that particular time. Besides, other events that can be associated with these events also caused distress among the soldiers. Furthermore, it the soldiers tend to show signs of hyper vigilance, experiencing nightmares, flash backs and some numbing of responses every time they remember the stressful and traumatic events that took place during the war
Penk and Irving (57), argue that these symptoms can be categorized into three major categories owing to the various experiences that the soldiers had. First is the hyper arousal category of post-traumatic stress disorder. This condition is common among soldiers who went through traumatic conditions during the war that were of very high degree. The soldiers are said to have been traumatised psychologically, and after the experiences, they could not managed to reset their minds back to the normal conditions. The soldiers who experience hyper arousal systems are on record to have physical symptoms for instance difficulties in sleeping, irritability, concentration problems, agitation, being easily startled, anger among others.
The second category is re-experiencing post-traumatic stress. It is on record that the soldiers with this condition experience a wide range of symptoms (Penk and Irving, 66). Soldiers are said to experience nightmares, flash backs, reminders about war event that are exaggerated and at times they may cause bodily harm against themselves. The third category is the numbing symptom. Post-traumatic victims tend to feel detached from their feelings as well as from vitality and a sense of deadness replace it (MacDonald, Kerry, Nigel and Ross, 79). Symptoms associated with numbing are disturbing to think of as the soldiers feel hopeless, and in most of their times they detach themselves from people and live in isolation. The soldier experience hard time as they try to avoid any memories, thought and feelings that would remind them about the war.
According to MacDonald, Kerry, Nigel and Ross (81) post-traumatic disorder among soldiers, like in the case of any other patient, can be managed and treated. After seeking medical attention, the doctors prescribe treatment depending on the intensity of their condition. Patrick et al (45) asserts that psychotherapy is among the best treatments the soldiers can be given. In this case, they are put through various sessions where they hold talks with the doctors and re-visit the event that caused the problem. Furthermore, medical treatments can also be administered among the affected soldiers, depending on the discretion of doctors. The condition could also be treated through other forms of therapy, including family therapy, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
In conclusion, post-traumatic disorder among soldiers is one of the mental problems that have research interests among the psychologists. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common condition among American soldiers who took part in the Vietnam War. From the above, various causes of the mental disorder have been discussed and have been categorized into three major groups. Furthermore, various post-traumatic stress disorder management strategies have been highlighted. However, the problem is common treated with various types of therapies, as well as medications.
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MacDonald, Carol, Kerry Chamberlain, Nigel Long, and Ross Flett. "Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Interpersonal Functioning in Vietnam War Veterans: a Mediational Model." Journal of Traumatic Stress. 12.4 (2009): 701-707. Print.
Patrick Boudewyns, Lee Hyer, Marilyn Woods, William Harrison, and Edward McCranie. PTSD among Vietnam Veterans: an early look at treatment outcome using direct therapeutic exposure. J Traumatic Stress, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2000
Penk, Walter E, and Irving M. Allen. "Clinical Assessment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (ptsd) Among American Minorities Who Served in Vietnam." Journal of Traumatic Stress. 4.1 (2011): 41-66. Print.