Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Veterans Essay

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Hundreds of thousands of United States veterans are not able to leave the horrors of war on the battlefield (“Forever at War: Veterans Everyday Battles with PTSD” 1). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the reason why these courageous military service members cannot live a normal life when they are discharged. One out of every five military service members on combat tours—about 300,000 so far—return home with symptoms of PTSD or major depression. According to the Rand Study, almost half of these cases go untreated because of the disgrace that the military and civil society attach to mental disorders (McGirk 1). The general population of the world has to admit that they have had a nightmare before. Imagine not being able to sleep one …show more content…
The Spaniards called it estar roto which means “to be broken” (Tick 99). These soldiers weren’t experiencing nostalgia which means the same as homesickness, but they were fighting battles within their subconscious that made them feel like they weren’t themselves anymore. Maybe the Spaniards got it right because they were broken, not emotionally or physically, but mentally. In 1952, the first edition of DSM-I (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) was written. The first attempt to define PTSD was: gross stress reaction. The name and definition was reinvented multiple times, but it disappeared from the second edition of the manual. Thirty-seven years later, Congress mandated the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish the National Center for PTSD. During the same year, Congress demolished the notion held for decades that the symptoms of PTSD were caused by character flaws (Thomas 15). PTSD affects both men and women. Women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men (“Women on the Frontlines”). During World War II (WWII), twenty WWII veterans may have suffered symptoms of PTSD (Thomas 20). It was estimated that as many as thirty percent of United States soldiers that fought in Korea may have symptoms of PTSD (Thomas 20). Twice as many veterans in Iraq have been diagnosed than veterans in Afghanistan. Before deployment the rate was five percent which is the same as the general United States population. 16 to 17 percent of those
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