April 15, 2012
Research on Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The first reported case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder dates back nearly 3000 years. In 1000BC an Egyptian combat veteran named Hori wrote, “You determine to go forward. Shuddering seizes you, the hair on your head stands on end, your soul lies in your hand” (Dyer). Since the beginning of wars men have been terrified of dyeing, and subjected to horrific scenes of devastation. This constant mental and physical stress can lead to numerous lasting complications in combat veterans.
In 1678 Swiss military physicians finally identified the unusual behaviors among ...view middle of the document...
According to the National Institute of Mental Health PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event. The lasting symptoms on this disorder can vary in degree of severity with each case. They state, “PTSD can be grouped into three categories; Re-experiencing symptoms, Avoidance symptoms, and Hyperarousal symptoms.” The first category Re-experiencing symptoms includes flashbacks, bad dreams and frightening thoughts. The second category Avoidance symptoms includes staying away from reminders of the events, feeling emotionally numb, and feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry. The third category Hyperarousal symptoms includes being easily startled, feeling tense or “on edge”, having difficulty sleeping, and angry outbursts. The person I interviewed displayed symptoms from each of the three categories. He has trouble sleeping, has trouble controlling his temper, avoids jobs that stress him, and has flashbacks. These symptoms have made it difficult for him to live the same life he had before being diagnosed with having PTSD. He is currently receiving treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs for his disorder.
The American military has done extensive research on PTSD since they first started during the American Civil War (Bentley). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is continuing to do research trying to figure out exactly what causes PTSD in some combat soldiers. According to their research sleep disorders are common in many cases of PTSD. They state, “Sleeping disorders may be caused by various symptoms such as being on “alert”, negative thoughts, using drugs or alcohol, nightmares, and other medical problems associated with PTSD.” The person I interviewed had had trouble sleeping ever since he returned from a combat zone because he relives the experience in his dreams. He also has started to abuse alcohol on a daily basis to forget about what has happened to him. According to the VA research, “There is a strong relationship between PTSD and Substance Use Disorder. Most Veterans with alcohol problems tend to binge drink in response to bad memories of combat trauma.” But there are many treatments...