PSTD And The Effects It Causes

Topics: Posttraumatic stress disorder, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD Pages: 11 (2662 words) Published: February 1, 2015

PSTD, the under addressed demon we battle.
Brian McCluskey
Bryant and Stratton College

PSTD, the under addressed demon we battle.

One of the most difficult and most elusive war inflicted hardships to deal with are those involving psychological disorders or afflictions. These particular war related traumas are not ones that can be touched, amputated, surgically removed, or sutured. Yet to those inflicted the pain and suffering is just as tremendous. Yet, psychological disorders resulting from an individual’s involvement in combat are as real as any other type of war related injury. The psychological wounds of war present a situation where individuals are often times forgotten, unaddressed, and underappreciated-especially those who are suffering from the posttraumatic stress syndrome, they are also struggling with the transition back to normal life and work. Literature Review: PSTD Defined. Examining the impact of military trauma on a veteran’s life remains in an infant stage with respect to knowing all that must garnered (Sutker, 1995). Accountability, sustainability, and treatment are far from being complete. Not only do diagnostic and treatment paradigms need to be made available to those veterans who suffer from PTSD, but a support system must be identified and structured to as well. Family and friends have to learn that they must be proactive in their understanding and support of the military veteran who have been diagnosed with PTSD disorder. Notwithstanding the fact that people who have been in military combat and suffer from PTSD, there has been reported a direct relationship between the disorder and negative physical health as well such as non-specific ECH abnormalities and atrioventricular defects and infarctions. (Jankowski, 2004). Although not extensively researched there are indications that PTSD is related to some gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal dysfunctions as well. However, the psychological factors resulting from PTSD has been researched more extensively and several treatments modalities have been used. These treatment methods include, but not limited to, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, group therapy, psychopharmacological therapy, as well as several experimental approaches utilizing sensorimotor and Asian approaches. (Dietrich, et al, 2000). Regardless of the treatment program employed to treat people with PTSD all must concentrate of the protective factors surrounding the veteran, namely, the individual his or herself, the family, and friends or peers. As stated in Chapter 1 of Comer’s book entitled Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology (2005), the road to better mental health for individuals suffering from any abnormal disorder rests with the community-based interventions and short-term therapy. With respect to the PTSD veteran what is at stake is to increase self-esteem, self-efficacy and those skills needed to cope with stress brought about by PTSD via therapeutic intervention that is community related (support) and short-term goal oriented. The therapies generally used, according to Comer (Chapter 5) are usually multi-modal to include a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral intervention. As said earlier some Asian and sensory-motor therapies are used as well. In order to accomplish this goal the individual must attempt to reestablish bonds of trust with family members, increase communication abilities, and begin to strengthen ties with peers and friends in pro-social activities and those involving the re-establishment trust and intimacy. Without a great deal of attention given to these protective features the risk factors for continued or strengthening of PSTD is greatly increased. Those risk factors include, but are not limited to, continued excessive and realistic fears, social isolationism, family conflict, avoidant coping style, and interpersonal discord. Whether or not an untreated stress...

References: Babbel, S. (2012, September 12). Somatic Psychology. Psychology Today. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from
Bremner, J
Comer, Ronald J. Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology. 4th ed. Worth Publishers (2005).
Hoge, C., Terhakopian, A., Castro, C., Messer, S., & Engel, C. (2007). Association of posttraumatic stress disorder with somatic symptoms, health care visits, and absenteeism among Iraq war veterans. Am J Psychiatry, 164(1), 150-153.
Samuelson, K. W. (2011). Post-traumatic stress disorder and declarative memory functioning: a review. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 13(3), 346-351.
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