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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( Ptsd )

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Introduction Since September 1, 2001, America has been involved in warfare in the Middle East with over 2.2 million men and women serving in combat zones experiencing more tours, higher levels of perceived risk and more cultural integration within ranks than ever seen in history (Crocker, Powell-Cope, Brown & Besterman-Dahan, 2014). According to Clark-Hitt, Smith and Broderick (2012) 14% of returning veterans are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which they define as “an anxiety disorder that may occur following exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened”. In a military setting these events could consist of an environment of repeated bombing or threat of death, watching a comrade die, killing another human-being, even witnessing immoral violence on a daily basis. According to work done by Polusny et al. (2008) exposure to traumatic events can be a contributor to the perception of a lesser health status, an increase in physical health illness and increasing health care utilization and cost. Polusny et al. (2008) focused their research on the relationship between natural disaster trauma and physical health with a finding that natural disasters that produce PTSD symptom clusters do effect an individual’s physical health as well as the health care of the effected community for some time after said disaster. This paper however focuses on PTSD as it pertains to physical symptoms of American soldiers
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