Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Term Paper

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Introduction number of studies and other researches have yielded findings that many or most combat or war veterans who return home from the battlefield develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. The disorder consists in reliving the memories of war, which a veteran re-enacts. Because of the nature of warfare and the veteran's own indoctrination to aggression, he also develops aggressive or violent behavior towards the members of his household and even outsiders at uncertain moments or episodes.

Military troops, due to militaries' lack of infrastructure, are at risk of having long-term psychological and social effects of PTSD.

Review of Literature

Doyle, L. (2007). Suicide Rates in U.S. Army Highest in 26 Years. The (London) Independent: Independent Newspapers UK Limited

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Doyle writes about a military report on the rate of suicides among American soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as reaching its highest in 26 years. Many of these soldiers were said to have exhibited symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, specifically repeated flashbacks of combat experiences. They belonged to an "overstretched" U.S. Army, which was sent back to action more than in the past. According to the report, there were 99 confirmed suicides for 2006 as compared to 88 the year before it and 102 in 1991. Of this number, 28 were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan and twice as many were women sent to fight in the wars as those not sent. Causes were identified as "occupational" or "operational," destroyed relationships, legal and financial.

Term Paper on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Assignment

Army statistics showed 17.3 suicides per 100,000 soldiers in 2006. Thirty of the 99 confirmed were in war zones. More than 1.5 million U.S. troops have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. There have been complaints from them about being "overstretched." A series of studies preceded these suicides, which showed an increase in mental health problems among them. The studies found a lack of adequate mental-health provision for the soldiers. Approximately 35% of them sought some type of mental-health treatment a year from their return home. The Army sent medical teams to them while at war to monitor their health, morale and related conditions. But returning soldiers were deprived of proper or adequate families. The Army, however, said they provided training programs, especially on suicide prevention, and added 25% more psychiatrist and other mental-health professionals to its ranks. It also said that it taught all soldiers how to recognize mental-health problems among themselves and to seek help when these occurred.

Elia, L. (2007). Staunching Veterans' Unseen Wound: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Market Wire. Retrieved March 29, 2008 at

The author notes the findings of a 2004 study published at the England Journal of Medicine about 15-17% of returning soldiers from Iraq as likely to develop PTSD. The Department of Veterans Affairs had said that 25% of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq were diagnosed as suffering from PTSD and other mental-health problems. It also said that these afflicted veterans seeking treatment increased by 70% within a year from June 30. The Veterans Administration likewise acknowledged almost 50,000 PTSD cases in the military personnel. Washington acknowledged only 30,000 wounded.

Elia emphasizes mental health as the second largest category of illness for U.S. veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and sought treatment. It is second only to orthopedic problems, but has been increasing at a faster rate than orthopedic cases. These cases occur just when the Veterans Affairs Department has been incurring budget shortage.

Yen, H. (2007). Repeated Deployments Called Serious Mental Health Risks. Deseret News (Salt Lake City): Deseret News Publishing Company

The Defense Department's Task Force on Mental Health said that repeated deployments of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan increased their risk of developing mental health problems. It reported that more than a third of these troops and veterans were already diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. With current shortages in money for health care and staffing and the escalating war in Iraq, these affected soldiers would tend to increase in number. It also said that the current system for psychological health care would not be able to meet the current and increasing needs.

The Task Force sought more money and a radical shift in the focus of treatment to prevention and screening from waiting for afflicted soldiers to voluntarily seek treatment. Soldiers were not too encouraged to come out on their own. They were subjected to ridicule or else their entire career would suffer if they admitted they had PTSD.

The Task Force found that 38% of soldiers and 31% of marines suffered from psychological problems, such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, after they returned from the fight. The incidence was much higher in the National Guard at 49%. Repeated deployments would raise the figure higher. Furthermore, the Task Force discovered from its visits at 38 military bases that most of these soldiers would not even seek the care and treatment they needed. Soldiers who have returned from battle did not have the provision. Mental-health programs have been limited to active-duty military personnel. Members of the family were excluded and forced to look for civilian health care providers, which were also few, inappropriate and small. The Government Accountability Office recently found that only 22% of returning troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, who showed symptoms of PTSD, were referred by Pentagon health care providers for mental health assessment.

Business Editors (2007). Therapy Battles War-Related Mental Health Conditions.. Business Wire: Gale Group

Families of soldiers returning from active duty have been struggling against the side effects of war at an alarming rate. They need not wait for their turn at military mental-health systems. They could consult with mental-health experts for their war-related mental-health conditions, such as PTSD. The National Center for PTSD initially estimated that 18% of those fighting in Iraq and 11% in Afghanistan would develop PTSD. Their families could help by recognizing and understanding the symptoms of the disorder. These are flashbacks or reliving traumatic events at war, nightmares, sleep disturbances, anger and irritability, fear and anxiety, shame or guilt, suicidal thoughts, great and deep sadness and grief, relationship problems, and extreme alcohol or drug use.

Psychotherapy can help the veterans. There are treatment programs, which can alleviate these symptoms. Marriage and family therapists can assess, diagnose and treat these sufferers.

Speckman, S. (2006). Program Aims to Help Vets "Reintegrate.." Deseret

News (Salt Lake City): Deseret News Publishing Company

Roughly a third of military troops returning home from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan were diagnosed with PTSD. Divorce rates have increased for this reason. These were the chief findings of a study conducted by the Utah Department of Human Services. A bill, HB 407, passed by legislators in Utah would help these soldiers "reintegrate" into civilian and family life on their return from battle. The bill would benefit primary returning reservists on duty for up to two years to tackle transitional issues involved in their return. The Utah Division of Veterans' Affairs wanted these soldiers and their families to know that there was help for them and that they were not alone in their problem or situation. The State's 161,000 veterans could gain information on benefits and services, such as family counseling, right from the internet. The bill attracted roughly $210,000 State contribution to fund the internet initiative and radio spots to cover counseling costs for the veterans.

Buncombe, a. (2005). Virtual Reality "War" Helps Treat Troops Traumatized by Combat. The (London) Independent: Independent Newspapers UK Limited

Buncombe writes about virtual reality video games and how they can help treat traumatized soldiers who return home from battle. The Pentagon spent $4 million for these games, which present combat situations in Iraq, to effect treatment. Military doctors use them to determine and measure the soldiers' reaction to the combat situation through their heartbeat, blood pressure, rate of breathing and skin temperature. The doctors could use the information in better diagnosing PTSD and coming up with better treatment.

Monitoring their reactions could enable the soldiers to acquire greater control over their own behavior in certain situations.

According to a published account at the New England Journal of Medicine, close to 17% of all soldiers returning from Iraq admitted to or reported some type of mental illness, which was combat-related. Broken marriages, car accidents, dissension and drug or alcohol abuse had risen along. The soldiers also reported about experiences and frustration in non-combat situation. The visual presentations are accompanied by sounds of American military helicopters, sniper fire and mortar rounds.

Kozaric-Kovacic, D and Boroveci, a (2005). Prevalence of Psychotic Co-Morbidity in Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Military Medicine: Association of Military Surgeons in the United States study of 680 men diagnosed with combat stress and PTSD as compared with 289 with combat experience and still in active military service. It found that 15% of war veterans had chronic PTSD and 45% had PTD with co-morbid conditions. About 17% of those with PTSD also had psychotic disorders. Approximately 17% of them… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  (2008, March 31).  Retrieved January 24, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder."  31 March 2008.  Web.  24 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder."  March 31, 2008.  Accessed January 24, 2021.