PTSD and Its Effect on Military Families Essay

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PTSD and Its Effects on Military Families In 2004 Operation Iraqi Freedom became the deadliest American military conflict since the Vietnam War. Military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam have brought heightened awareness of military related PTSD, as well as the relationship and family problems that accompany the disorder. Studies have shown that 11% - 20% of Veterans that served in Iraq and 6% - 11% of veterans that were deployed to Afghanistan have suffered from PTSD. Veterans of operation Desert Storm suffer at a rate of about 10% and Vietnam veteran estimates have been as high as 30% – 50%. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is defined as an anxiety disorder that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or…show more content…
While PTSD was not yet defined it was clear that these symptoms were caused because of the disturbing things that had been seen. With no treatments available and a stigma that the effected persons were cowards or scared soldiers were often sent home with no supervision. During World War I physicians began calling it “shell shock” or “combat fatigue”, they believed that concussions caused by the impact of shells disrupting the brain caused the symptoms. Treatments included hospitalization and electric shock therapy. By World War II medical personnel noticed that soldiers that were engaged in longer more intense fighting had much higher levels or psychiatric disturbances and started using the term battle fatigue or combat exhaustion. Soldiers were being labeled as fearful and lacking in discipline and PTSD was still not fully recognized as a disorder, at this time treatment included barbiturates. As the Vietnam War began preventative measures were being taken to decrease the psychological impact of war on soldiers. Unfortunately as the war ended soldiers were often met with hostile demonstrations by anti-war activists and society offered little acceptance of Vietnam veterans even years after the war. This is when early studies on PTSD and the effects on military families began being documented. Early research showed that PTSD can have devastating, far-reaching consequences on the patients functioning, relationships,
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