Military veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder which affects their lives, mentally and even physically. These conditions are treatable and their lives can run smoothly and normally. The rationale of this paper shall be to examine how PTSD conditions affect the military veteran and evaluate brain and physical effects associated and establish ways of treating these conditions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) refers to some psychological consequences due to exposure to or having being confronted with experiences that were stressful which to the person was highly traumatic. The experience involves threatened or actual death, threat to psychological and or physical integrity. Occasionally it is referred to as post trauma stress reaction so that emphasis on the fact that it is a routine of traumatic experiences. It is therefore not a pre-existing psychological weakness manifestation on the part of the person who have undergone through such traumatic experiences (Tanielian, p. 89)
PTSD have physical effect especial on military veteran and on the same note, they have been established to have effect on the brain. There are symptoms associated with the post-traumatic stress disorder which in most of the cases are physical though one may suffer traumatic stress with no signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. The military veteran who has the PTSD condition exhibits some symptoms from time to time. Symptoms of distress are apparent when they recall memories, feelings, thoughts and other event that are associated to the traumatic event they went through. Sounds, sight, smell triggers the memories of veteran with this condition, where they suffer from experiencing of nightmares, hyper vigilance, flashbacks and numbing of responses (Vasterling, Verfaellie and Sullivan, p.675).
PTSD symptoms are of three categories that is hyper arousal, re-experiencing and numbing. Hyper arousal can be said to occur when the physiology of the traumatise person is in high gear. In such a case the person is assaulted psychological and have not been able to reset to their normal condition. The symptoms that are associated with hyper arousal are majorly physical for instance difficulty in sleeping, problem with concentrating, irritability, agitation, anger and been easily startled among others (Ciccarelli, p.90).
With respect to re-experiencing, the veteran military with this condition are associated with a wide range of symptoms. For instance, they exhibit symptom such as nightmares, reminders of the event that are exaggerated, flashbacks and even body harm on them. Other symptoms that are common with the veteran who have served in the military are numbing. In this case a person feel detached from their feelings and vitality where a sense of deadness replaces it. The symptoms that are associated with numbing are quite dangerous to think of. For instance people with this condition have no interest when it comes to the lives of other people. The patient feel hopeless and in most cases prefer being in isolation. They try as much as possible to be detached from thought and feelings that would bring back the memories of the traumatic events. In addition to that, they feel estranged and detached from other people (Pedersen, p.115)
How PTSD is detected
PTSD can be detected by a doctor who has experience in this field for example in treating and helping persons with mental illness that is psychologists and psychiatrists. The doctor diagnosis the PTSD after the doctor talks to the patient who has shown these conditions. For PTSD to be detected military veteran must have experienced several conditions for not less than one month. Among the condition that they show possible PTSD condition are re-experiencing symptom at least once, and three avoidance symptoms (Ciccarelli, p.110). In addition to that the patient should have experienced two hyper arousal symptoms being the least and other symptom that stop the daily and normal routine that an individual undertakes. The routine activities that are interrupted with are going to work or school, associating with friends, and the general responsibility of taking care of important tasks (Vasterling, Verfaellie and Sullivan, p.677).
Management and treatment
Military veteran have learnt ways to manage these condition to curb anxiety by learning avoidance responses toward experiences that evoke and produce related anxiety. Cognitive processing therapy (CPT), eye movement desensitizing and reprocessing (EMDR) and prolonged exposure (PE) are among the accepted approaches toward effective treatment.
There are several other main treatments that veteran military men and women with the PTSD condition are treated. Psychotherapy for instance which involves talk has been one of the most fruitful exercises with regard to treatment. Medication is also used for treatment and in most cases doctors may prefer combing both psychotherapy and medications. Since people are different in various ways, treatment will therefore depend on an individual and therefore varies from one person to the other (Ciccarelli, p.150)
Patients with the PTSD condition are advised to be treated by mental health care provider who has the relevant experience. People with PTSD condition are required at times to try a number of treatments so that they can establish which kind of treatment best suits them for their symptoms. If the patient is still going through the problem for instance panic disorder, substance abuse or feeling suicidal among others, it requires that the two problems be treated. This will enable he patient heal fully and successfully.
Psychotherapy which is basically a talk therapy involves a talk with a medical professional in relation to health who treats mental illnesses. Psychotherapy can be done individually where the patient attends sessions with the doctor or it can be done as a group (Rand Center for Military Health Policy Research, 3). Talk therapy for patient with PTSD condition in most cases takes 6-12 weeks though it make take longer depending on the health situation of the patient. In psychotherapy, it is required that the patient receives support from the family and friends as it become an important part of healing. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy helps in healing traumatic memories including beliefs, visual images body sensation and emotions (Vasterling, Verfaellie and Sullivan, p.682).
There are various types of psychotherapy which the health professional can administer which are usually different from one patient to the other. Therapies teach patient different ways in which they can react to frightening events which arouses PTSD symptoms. After the therapy the patient will have the capacity to use control skill to relax and control anger, use tips for better diet, sleep and exercise habits (Vanderploeg, Belanger and Curtiss, p.1089)
There are two medications that have been approved for treating PTSD condition by the United States food and drug administration. They advocated sertraline and paroxetine which are antidepressants used to treat depression. The medication help in controlling symptom associated with PTSD which allows the patients go through psychotherapy. Though there are some side effects associated with the medication, the side effect go away within a few days (Rand Center for Military Health Policy Research, 5).
In conclusion, we have established that PTSD are serious conditions that military veteran go through due to traumatic experiences that they go through. There is a solution to these problems through undergoing treatments which entails therapy and medication. PTSD can be detected by medical professionals and be effectively addressed.
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Pedersen, Darlene D. Psych Notes: Clinical Pocket Guide. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, 2012. Print.
Ciccarelli, Saundra K, and J N. White. Psychology: An Exploration. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson, 2013. Print.
Vanderploeg, R.D., Belanger,H.G. and Curtiss.G. "Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Their Associations with Health Symptoms." Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 90.7 (2009): 1084-1093. Print.
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