PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is defined as a psychiatric malady that usually occurs after watching or experiencing a severe occurrence such as natural disaster, sexual assault, terrorist incidents, military combat, physical assault or serious accident (Lusk et al. 847). The recognition of post-traumatic anxiety malady can be done through its symptoms that manifest themselves mostly on the first month after exposure to the traumatic event. The illness is marked by clear psychological and physical symptoms categorized into three clusters, which include the avoidance and emotional freezing, re-experiencing and hyperarousal.
PTSD among American soldiers
PTSD among American soldiers happens to veterans who in their lifetime have served in the warfare. In the military, the disorder is referred as combat stress or shell shock. It is usually normal for the body and mind to be shocked by such life-threatening events, but the response becomes a PTSD when an individual nervous system gets stuck. “The posttraumatic disorder has been identified as the core hurt indicators of the America engagements in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. A large number exceeding 2.6 million country guards, reserve service and active duty individuals deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have developed or may have PTSD” (Griffith 461).
As a result of amplified cases of PTSD, the Department of Veteran Affairs and that of Defense have been unable to manage the disorder. However, the sectors have offered funds to develop and promote research and programs that instigate and foster the recovering services to soldiers with PTSD. “More than one thousand soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are identified with PTSD every week while a huge number above eight hundred are diagnosed with depression” (Elbogen et al. 369). The veteran affair department has illustrated that the increased number of PTSD together with other mental health illnesses has elevated the suicide rates among the United States Marines who were deployed in the warfare.
Causes of PTSD
American soldiers are predisposed to various risk factors that may lead to PTSD while on duty. These factors include being injured, witnessing death and torture, taken as captive, serving on grave registration and handling remains. Other rigorous war stressors include improvised explosives, sniper fire, grenade attacks and rebellious attacks. “The rate of after war depression is linked with the extended period deployment, multiple deployments and much time outside the camp” (Yurgil et al. 149). During the war, other factors that can contribute to stress include the kind of opponent to face, the environment of war and politics of war. Military sexual harassment among American soldiers is common during battle, which makes an individual to develop the post-trauma stress.
During the time of battle, soldiers witness their friends being killed or their battalion in a disgusting situation. To some extent, the survival of an individual counts the death of other persons. “The decision made during the warfare makes survivors to keep the memory of the traumatic event that took place. The mind is not able to go back to its normal state since the survival was by luck or through a vigorous fight. Being taken as captive predisposes a soldier PTSD since one witness his or her death before the rescue and he or she would have been tortured or lost hope with the life” (Elbogen et al. 372). Additionally, handling remains or working in the grave registration makes an individual imagine that he or she will one day be a casualty of the fight. Moreover, some of the remains are very disgusting and stressing that can lead to depression.
Besides, injuries are common during war. Injuries from the bullets, falls and grenade make an individual have a developing stress since he or she is at risk of being left and get killed in case their part is overpowered by the enemies. Moreover, the injuries are fatal to the extent that one is not able to come back to the normal life or unable to do the daily duties. “American soldiers spend most of their time outside the camp while in the battlefield for regular patrols to secure the assigned area. The time outside the camp is risky and makes an individual fear the ambush from the enemy leading to depression. Additionally, the patrols are prone to landmine attacks and other improvised explosives that might be targeting the patrol convoy” (Yurgil et al. 153). Soldiers experience rebellious attacks, which are always fatal and result in numerous casualties. Every partaker during rebellious attack fights for his or her life, which involves making hard decisions that keep on hurting after the end of the battle.
In conclusion, American soldiers are at risk of getting PTSD due to their involvement in fights. PTSD among soldiers changes their life negatively and can lead to suicide. Soldiers keep on recalling the devastating events that happen while deployed on the battlefield, which includes death, injuries, taken as a captive and sniper fire. The Ministry of Defense should establish effective strategies and programs that will be targeting soldiers who come back home from the battleground. The programs should be designed to diagnose and treat soldiers so that they can continue with their living normally.
Elbogen, Eric B., et al. “Violent Behaviour and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in US Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans.” The British Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 204, no. 5, 2014, pp. 368-75.
Griffith, James. “Suicide and War: The Mediating Effects of Negative Mood, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms, and Social Support among Army National Guard Soldiers.” SLTB Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, vol. 42, no. 4, 2012, pp. 453-69.
Lusk, Jaimie, et al. “A Qualitative Study of Potential Suicide Risk Factors among Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom Soldiers Returning to the Continental United States (CONUS).” JCLP Journal of Clinical Psychology, vol. 71, no. 9, 2015, pp. 843-55.
Yurgil, Kate A., et al. “Association between Traumatic Brain Injury and Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Active-Duty Marines.” JAMA Psychiatry, vol. 71, no. 2, 2014, pp. 149-57.