PTSD Post=traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Term Paper

Pages: 3 (970 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

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Generally speaking, older soldiers deal with war-related events than younger ones do. With that as the guideline, we might see less PTSD among those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan since we have relied so heavily on National Guard members, who tend to be older (Elias, 2004). On the other hand, the men and women who joined the National Guard may not have expected to ever actually go to war, and may have a different mindset regarding war events than those who actively signed up for combat-oriented services such as the Army and Marines.

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Because of the devastating effect of PTSD on a person's ability to function, it should be treated as soon as possible. A person's first reaction to the stressful events that lead to PTSD will be acute stress. Within six months, 80% of those people will be diagnosable as having PTSD, and 75% of them will still have those symptoms two years later. PTSD is a disorder that can persist for years and worsen over time (Harbert, 2002). Because of its complex nature, treatment should be multidimensional in nature as well as prompt. A holistic approach to treatment, taking into consideration the person's history, life style, behavior and cognitive thinking may be most effective. Particular emphasis can be put on cognitive thought processes. The therapist can map out interventions that can help the client control how he or she thinks about the traumatic events, which can bring immediate and often long-term benefit.

Term Paper on PTSD Post=traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Assignment

Effective treatment strategies include forms of cognitive behavior therapy, with Critical Incident Stress Management being particularly helpful for clinicians, rescuers, and other caregivers affected directly or indirectly by catastrophic events (Harbert, 2002). Medications can be used selectively to reduce symptoms that are difficult to cope with, including some that can help reduce hyper-arousal, improve sleep -- including control of nightmares, and decrease both frequency and severity of panic attacks. They may help the client cope with symptoms of explosive temper and avoidance behaviors. However, total reliance on pharmaceuticals for treatment is not recommended (Harbert, 2002).

Ironically, although up to 12% of people in the United States may have PTSD at some point in their lives, those who have it feel alone and isolated from others (Harbert, 2002). Therefore, treating PTSTD in a holistic way might include looking at the client's social history and current social situation. Working in a group might help feel a veteran with PTSD feel less isolated and more understood.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Elias, Marilyn. 2004. "Many Iraq veterans fighting an enemy within; Nearly 20% face mental disorders." USA Today, July 1.

Harbert, Kenneth. 2002. "Acute Traumatic Stress: Helping patients regain control." Clinician Reviews, January.

Roswell, Robert H., M.D. 2004. "V. A. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Programs." Congressional Testimony, March 11.

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