Vietnam Veterans : A Psychological Disorder

3128 Words13 Pages
This group of veterans, especially, found reintegrating challenging. With many turning to substance use, finding themselves homeless, or involved with the criminal justice system, they were unable to handle the challenges of reintegration (Hawkins, 2010). By the 1980’s between thirty and seventy percent of Vietnam veterans showed signs of PTSD resulting from the combat trauma (Burgess, Stockey, & Coen, 2010). PTSD was recognized as a psychological disorder in DSM-III. Looming too large to ignore, veterans groups began to exert tremendous pressure to recognize the plight of Vietnam veterans. Research states there are between 500,000 and 1.5 million Vietnam veterans who suffer from PTSD living in the United States. Male veterans have a 30.9 % lifetime prevalence of PTSD and female veterans have a 26.9% lifetime prevalence (Hafemeister, & Stockey, 2010). These veterans experience significant stress reactions. The veterans retained violent and aggressive behavior from military training and combat courses. This behavior is not always justified in the civilian realm and may result in the veteran being involved with the criminal justice system. If the offense is serious enough, the action can lead to incarceration. Some of the criminal behavior can be linked to PTSD symptoms as possible contributors, however the Vietnam veteran is not alone in facing the challenges of PTSD (Hafemeister, & Stockey, 2010). Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also find PTSD to be a problem.
Open Document