Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Published: 2021-07-02 22:55:05
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Everybody goes through a bad experience or a rough time throughout their lives. People can usually overcome and learn from their experiences but then again there are some people who are so shattered by what they experience it starts to overcome and take their lives away from them in one single grip. Fear can engulf your mind, body and soul. What if all you could do was think about what happened? Every day you spend thinking about what you could have done differently and replaying the memories over and over again in your mind.
For some this causes a spiraling depression and a overcoming of sadness. You want your old life back; you want to be happy and free from worry. Many People are affected by Post-traumatic Stress disorder(PTSD), an anxiety disorder that comes and disrupts your life. The major group of people who are affected with this terrible anxiety disorder are the United States Military, The group of people known to be brave, strong and courageous. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs when a traumatic experience happens that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless.
This disorder can happen in any overwhelming situation especially when the situation is unpredictable. This stress disorder can affect the people who personally experience the event, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces after words. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder develops differently for everyone. Symptoms can appear as early as hours after, but usually takes weeks, months or even years for the symptoms to appear (Smith, 2011).
Just a few possible scenario’s which cause PTSD are: War, natural disasters, car or plane crashes, terrorist attacks, sudden death of a loved one, rape, kidnapping, assault, sexual or physical abuse, and childhood neglect. Not everyone who experiences these events will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. People who have this condition all have symptoms. First of all the memory is seriously impaired, but not in an amnesia sort of way. You re-experience the event over and over again in your head. And the two other main symptoms are you try to avoid any reminders of the event and also increased anxiety and emotional distress.
When re-experiencing the traumatic event you begin to get upsetting memories, flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of intense distress, and physical reactions such as pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension and sweating. While avoiding the event you start to avoid activities, places, thoughts or feelings that you remind you in any way of the incident, loss of interest in activities and daily life, feeling detached and emotionally numb. With Increased anxiety you have difficult sleep patterns, Irritability, difficulty concentrating, and feeling jumpy or easily startled.
Other common symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder include; Anger, Guilt, shame, or self-blame, substance abuse, depression and hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, feeling alienated or alone, physical aches and pains. When soldiers come back from fighting a war, they are scared physically and emotionally. They see the turbulence, the fighting, the killings and they just want to move on and forgot their experience overseas. Service members are at risk for death or severe injury, they witness friends and other soldiers hurt or killed. They also may have to kill or wound others.
All of these factors are leading causes to have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. In 2003, a study done by the United States department of Veterans Affairs, they looked at the mental health of service members in Afghanistan and Iraq. Soldiers in Iraq reported more combat stressors than Soldiers in Afghanistan. The main stressors in Iraq were: Seeing dead bodies, being shot at, being attacked, receiving rocket or mortar fire, and knowing someone who was killed or seriously injured. The soldiers who had more combat stressors had more mental health problems.
And those who served in Iraq had higher rates of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder than those who served in Afghanistan. Research on veterans returning from war, suggests that 10-18% of troops are likely to have PTSD when the return. They are also at risk for many other mental health problems such as depression. The use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs may also be a problem. Research has also found that there are certain factors that make it more likely for members of the service to develop the disorder. Longer deployment time, severe combat exposure, severe physical
injury, brain injury, lower rank, lower level of schooling, not being married, family problems, female gender, and prior trauma exposure. But not everyone with these factors will develop any kind of stress disorder. Getting help before and after with coping skills can lower your chances greatly. You need to learn how to adapt and overcome these struggles. Now how do soldiers of war overcome this terrible incident in their lives? It can be extremely difficult to experience. You see people dying and getting hurt, and most of the time you will have orders to kill someone else.
Returning home can be a very stressful situation, the soldiers can experience, anger, insomnia, anxiety, pain, nightmares and interpersonal difficulties. It is because it is a huge transition, while in combat, your primary focus is survival and now coming home you should not need to worry about those types of things. Also while being deployed, the family goes under changes as well, trying to fill the gaps of the soldier’s absence. After being united, usually a switch cannot be turned right on and go right back living to how things used to be. They think once being home everything will be great.
The reality is that people need time to grow back together, to become reacquainted and adjust to the changes each has experienced so that they can develop a new normal. (Steinbach, 2010) Symptoms experienced with the transition of coming home are normal for most veterans, and usually are temporary and go away within a few weeks. It is true that most people who go through traumatic events and develop symptoms of PTSD, will go away overtime because it is our natural coping skill. It is estimated that only 20% of veterans who fought in oversea wars develop the stress disorder.
The biggest side effect when it comes to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is panic or anxiety attacks. They leave you feeling defenseless, hopeless, and scared. Panic attacks refer the the experience of intense fear or discomfort where four or more symptoms of a panic attack are felt. A list of the side effects are: Pounding heart or increased heart rate, sweating, shaking, feeling smothered, choking, chest pain/discomfort, nausea, feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint, depersonalization, feeling of losing control, fear of dying, chills or hot flashes, numbness or tingling in extremities.
Although the DSM-IV, a manual of mental disorders, says that a person must experience more than four symptoms, some people may have panic attacks that only have 3 or less. This is referred to as a limited symptom panic attack. Panic attacks can happen anytime without any trigger, and this is known as an uncued panic attack. It comes out of the blue and is a defining feature of a panic disorder. Cued panic attacks are triggered by something such as public speaking or in a veteran’s case, while getting congratulated or at a ceremony for the Military.
Feeling like you are about to die is very scary, and can make you afraid to even go out of your house. Some people experience panic attacks so often it disrupts the normal patterns of their lives. How can someone distinguish between Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and just regular coping with stress? With every traumatic experience there are always repercussions to your wellbeing. You will go through symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder because your safety and happiness was disturbed. Afterwards you can be fearful, disconnected and have nightmares. These are all normal reactions to traumatic events.
But for most people these feelings are short lived and will not continue to disrupt your life. Now for people with PTSD the feelings will not lift and will keep you feeling lifeless and defenseless against your own thoughts, it can even gradually get worse over time. After such a shocking predicament your body goes into shock and but once you make sense of what happened, you come out of it. It is important to face your feelings and remember your memories in order to move on. With Post-traumatic stress disorder, you remain in psychological shock, and your memory and feelings about what happened are disconnected.
Luckily now a days, Military veterans receive routine screenings for PTSD immediately after deployments, months afterward and also during routine clinical visits. The best thing a veteran can do when they start experiencing symptoms is to get help. Obtain research, knowledge and preparation will make a big difference with your coping of the stress disorder. Knowing what to expect can help identify issues, and keep them from going any deeper. VA data shows that from 2002 to 2009, 1 million troops left active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan and became eligible for VA care.
Of those troops, 48% were diagnosed with a mental health problem. Now there will always be a difficulty with soldiers going to receive help, because they are looked at as being strong and courageous. Why on earth would a soldier need mental health? Reasons that some veterans do not go seek for treatment are; Concern for being seen as weak, being treated differently, privacy, not believing treatment is effective, side effects of treatments, and the cost of medical help. Getting medical help does not make a person weak, it actually helps the person grow stronger and to live a
happy and fulfilling life. Getting help for PTSD has many perks. The sooner that the disorder is confronted, the easier it is to overcome. The process is much easier with the guidance and support of a therapist or a doctor. Everyone who experiences memories and feelings from the experience wants to just avoid and push away the situation. But if you try to depersonalize yourself and numb the experience, it will only get worse. Avoidance will ultimately harm your relationships, your ability to function and the quality of your life. Early treatment is better because the symptoms can get worse.
Dealing with them early on will stop them from getting worse in the future. It can also get in the way of your family life. You may find that you are pulled away from your family, are not able to get along with people well, or that you are angry and have violent outbursts. PTSD can make other physical health problems worse. Studies have shown a relationship between PTSD and heart trouble. There are many treatments to help a person affected with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. The main way is to go to therapy, and they will help explore other possibilities of treatments.
It helps relieve symptoms by helping you deal with the trauma you have experienced. Rather than avoiding the event and any reminder of it, treatment will help encourage you to recall and process the emotions and sensations you felt during the ongoing event. Treatment will also help restore your sense of control and reduce the powerful hold this event has had on your life. Trauma-focused Cognitive-behavioral Therapy helps carefully expose yourself to your thoughts, feelings and emotions of the situation that reminds you of your trauma. There is the option of Family therapy as well.
PTSD affects both you and those close to you. It can help your loved ones understand what you are going through. And also help anyone in the family communicate better and work through relationship problems. Medication is also a number one therapy, it helps balance the hormones and chemicals in your brain. It helps relieve secondary symptoms of depression or anxiety. Anti-depressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are the medications most commonly used. Anti-depressants can help you feel less sad, worried and on edge, but they do not treat the causes of PTSD.
There are also minor tranquilizers used such as Xanax and Ativan. They are often helpful at the beginning, when symptoms are most intense. Unlike anti-depressants, they are habit forming and they do not mix well with alcohol. There is also medication that can help with sleep. Such as Trazodone, it helps with early morning awakening, it is also non-addictive. Veterans of war should always go for help when they feel symptoms of a traumatic experience for a long time. You will not be looked at as, defenseless and weak.
You will be looked at as, strong and courageous for going to get help. Seeing death and injury are a terribly bad experience, and would shatter any normal person’s existence. The people fighting for this countries right for freedom is a blessing, and if anyone is going to look down upon you for needing help they are just not very informed on what is happening overseas. Remember that getting help and treatment will stop PTSD, right in its tracks. You will one day be able to overcome this sad stress disorder and live a normal and happy life.

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