Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder of World War I

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The soldiers that fought during World War I faced many difficulties during the war. These difficulties included day to day combat, little or no food for days at a time, health issues that arose from the poor conditions, and having to deal with the mental strain of the war. Your average person either knows or has heard of these difficulties, but the average person probably doesn’t know about the problems these soldiers face upon their return home. The main problem for returning soldiers is what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, post-traumatic stress disorder refers to an anxiety disorder that some people get after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. To give further detail of the disorder the APA also classifies an anxiety disorder as a mental illness in which the sufferer feels an exceptional level of fear and apprehension. The APA also states that any event that causes a person to experience intense fear, horror, or helplessness can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. In order to be officially diagnosed a person must meet the criteria of having the required number of reexperiencing, hyperarousal, and avoidance/numbing symptoms.

To be officially diagnosed the person must experience one of the five reexperiencing symptoms, two of the five hyperarousal symptoms, and three of the seven avoidance/numbing symptoms. The five reexperiencing symptoms are having intrusive memories of the event, having recurrent dreams of the event, times when the person believes the event is happening again, intense distress when reminded of the event, and intense reactions when reminded of the events. The hyperarousal symptoms are difficulty falling or staying asleep, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance or feeling on the edge, and exaggerated startle response or overreacting to things like loud noises. The avoidance/numbing symptoms include attempts to avoid...
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