Research Paper: Combat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) typically involves a nervousness emerging as a result of a particular dramatic event which left a psychological shock. Individuals suffering from the disorder have problems dealing with it, given the fact that most are reluctant to undergo treatment and the persons close to them are likely to try to repress it. Both victims and psychologists have to go through great efforts in order to fight the malady because it is relatively new and some treatments are still in an experimental phase (Stein & Hollander, 2002, p. 19). Even though diagnose and treatment of mental disorders is normally performed through medical treatment involving medical apparatuses and medicine, treatment of PTSD is more likely to be effectively combated through therapy time.

Some of the main symptoms found in people suffering from PTSD are embarrassment, remorse, and social mistrust. People with the disorder were also reported to display recklessness, unfriendliness, and dissociation. PTSD is usually hard to predict in the beginning but it is known to become more complex as it advances and is not treated. Those who have the malady are in most cases uncooperative, this making it extremely challenging for their families and their therapists to support them. Treatment is even harder to perform because of the large number of similarities between depression and PTSD and for this reason many individuals suffering from the disorder are not properly diagnosed in its early stages (Stein & Hollander, p. 20).

The disorder is believed to have experienced an increase in popularity consequent to the Vietnam War, even with the fact that there were people suffering from the malady long before the conflict in the south-east of Asia. Because of the factors involved in looking for professional help are considered to be unpleasant by some, military individuals abstain from doing so and only succeed in aggravating the malady. The Army is among the most proficient institution to deal with PTSD and it has apparently gotten engaged in collaborating with the families of military personnel, so as for them to be able to assist the individual in diagnosing and treating PTSD (Burke, Degeneffe & Olney, 2009).

While it might seem surprising for some, a series of therapists chose to employ forms of treatment that are not related to traumas in treating PTSD sufferers. To a certain extent, this is probably an effective method of dealing with the disease, given that it does not stress the individual by bringing into attention facts which are believed to have caused the trauma. Relaxation and psychotherapy that is not apparently directed at overcoming the traumatic event is to some extent beneficial (Burke, Degeneffe & Olney). Still, in order to successfully leave behind PTSD, patients most probably have to address the matter directly, so as for them to be able to understand that it is but a thing of the past and that they do not have to live the rest of their lives in misery because of it. Non-directive counseling should, however, be used for the first hours of therapy, as patients have to be comfortable to smooth the progress of therapy.

Cognitive behavior therapy is the result of a combination between trauma-directed therapy and therapy that does not directly address the trauma. This technique was found to be effective in several cases, with numerous Vietnam veterans suffering from PTSD being among the patients to report a decrease in the disorder's symptoms as a result of going through cognitive behavior therapy. This form of therapy engages in exposing the patient to episodes which are similar to the ones that caused the trauma. The immediate expected reaction of patients is fear, but given that they find that they are in a protected and encouraging environment, they abandon their previous conceptions and get actively engaged in going over the condition. The Social Cognitive Theory can be applied through such methods, with the patient feeling less agitated as he or she observes that the individuals around him are relaxed (Burke, Degeneffe & Olney).

An ingenious yet controversial therapy exposure method regarding treatment of PTSD victims that have gone through a dramatic event while at war was… [END OF PREVIEW]

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