Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Elizabeth and Bryce
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that is very common in our returning military personnel today. They have suffered through many traumatic events to protect us and our freedom. About twenty percent of the personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD. Military personnel aren't the only people that have PTSD, but they are more susceptible to it, because they are in the line of danger a lot.
The symptoms of PTSD are more mental than they are physical problems. The most common symptom people suffer from are flashbacks and nightmares. Angry outbursts and depression are also common symptoms. People who suffer from PTSD feel emotionally numb and have no will to live in severe cases. They may start engaging in self-destructive behavior, such has excessively drinking alcohol or doing drugs.
PTSD is a serious disease and treatment needs to be treated as soon as possible. Antidepressants and antipsychotics are given to treat depression and reoccurring nightmares. The most common and effective type of treatment is therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy combines understanding how the traumatic event changed your life and talking about the event or even visiting places associated with the event to help make the memories less scary. A new program has been developed called 'Virtual Iraq,' where returning soldiers can virtually go to places in the Middle East.
People with PTSD can and will go on to live 'normal' lives again. They learn how to control reoccurring symptoms so they don't have to be an issue in their daily lives. Many returning soldiers find it helpful to join a support group. They realize they aren't the only ones going through this pain and there are people who know how to help them through that pain. Sometimes everybody needs to know they will be okay. That can come from a friend, family member, or even a complete stranger. People suffering from PTSD need to know there is something worth living for, a 'light at the end of the tunnel.'
Many of our brave military personnel have returned from tours of duty with PTSD. PTSD is a serious illness and needs to be treated like one. Anybody who has suffered a traumatic experience needs to seek help immediately to prevent PTSD from happening. If you can understand how to deal with your emotions and learn to accept what happened, you can be one less victim of PTSD.