Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Treating Our Heroes

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Treating our heroes
Linda A. Smith
Liberty University

Abstract

Combat veterans and active duty service members who have suffered mild to severe traumatic brain injury or head trauma are at a higher risk for the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder post-deployment. Research has revealed that treating the soldier immediately after the injury with pharmacotherapeutic agents significantly reduces the risk that the soldier will develop post-traumatic stress disorder at a later date. Determining effective ways to treat combat veterans and assist them in surviving episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder through therapy and medication has become a top priority for the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration.

Keywords: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), pharmacotherapeutic agents, combat veterans, active-duty service members, therapy, mild traumatic brain injury, severe traumatic brain injury, head trauma.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Treating our Heroes
Introduction
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an important and well-documented mental health outcome among seriously injured civilian and military survivors of trauma” (Holbrook, 2010) The awareness of this disorder was first recognized as a true psychological disorder in 1980 when it appeared in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due to the large amount of Vietnam veterans presenting symptoms related to their military service. This disorder is thought to have first been experienced in Vietnam, but “Incidents of post-traumatic stress disorder have been documented as far back as ancient Greece.” (Melchior, 2011) As we enter the twelfth year of combat operations in the Middle East, the incidents of violence surrounding returning Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans is increasing. There has been a dramatic rise in suicides and homicides perpetrated by combat veterans who



References: Fernandez, M. (2013). Suspect in Texas Veteran’s Killing Was Hospitalized. Retrieved from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/us/eddie-ray-routh-accused-of-killing-chris-kyle-american-sniper-had-troubled-past.html?_r=0 Friedman, M Frueh, B. (2009) Delayed-onset post-traumatic stress disorder among war veterans in primary care clinics. The British Journal of Psychiatry: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/194/6/515.short Hames, J.M Melchior, A., (2011), Caesar in Vietnam: Did roman soldiers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? Retrieved from Greece & Rome, 58(2), The Classic Association Powers, R Sneden, P. (2010), Not all wounds are visible, Retrieved from Marines Magazine, 39(2), 22. Staff, (2011), PTSD support goes mobile, Retrieved from Marine Magazine, 40(4), 9.

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