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Post Traumatic Stress from Combat Area of Operations (AO):
For many years I've had one page that dealt with Combat Post Traumatic Stress. Then last year I added a page for Active Duty Personnel with the idea that the subjects would be different. They are not and the general information of one group pertains to the other!
So today, 17AUG06, I've combined the two sites under one banner but still offer separate information. We all have had exposure to Combat Stress, each of us are handling it in our own way. But the services for which we deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are different.
So, select from the following, based on your current military background:
- Are you discharged from the military? Are you a combat veteran from Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenade, or Somalia please visit the Veterans Page for information.
- You are Current Active Duty, or have been a deployed National Guard or Reserve personnel, visit the Active Duty Page.
Symptoms (What you, your spouse, family or your friends should be looking for!)
- After a person experiences a traumatic event that involves an actual or perceived threat of death or injury, they may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is the most common mental health disability affecting troops who have served in combat.
- Symptoms of PTSD include:
- re-experiencing of the traumatic event, often through flashbacks or nightmares;
- avoidance of anything associated with the trauma and numbing of emotions; and
- difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and irritability.
- PTSD can develop at any time after exposure to a traumatic event. For veterans, it often emerges several months after return to civilian life.
- Because neither the Department of Defense nor the VA adequately diagnose or effectively track PTSD in veterans, precise statistics on the prevalence of PTSD in OEF/OIF veterans are not available. However, current studies estimate that the prevalence of PTSD among returning veterans ranges from 15% to 50%. [This has been confirmed by the VA if you include acute stress disorder.]
- Because PTSD can take months or years to manifest, and because many troops are subjected to multiple deployments and the worsening violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, rates of PTSD will continue to rise.
- PTSD is a serious and specific diagnosis, but it can vary greatly in its severity. In severe cases, it can lead to
addiction, anti-social behavior or suicide.
- Troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are killing themselves at higher percentages than in any other war where
such figures have been tracked.
- Many factors can impact the extent of the reaction to a traumatic event. These include the amount of death and devastation witnessed, and the degree of responsibility felt for not preventing the event. Other factors include gender, age and race.
This is a personal additional information on surviving PTSD.
- Types of treatment include: individual psychotherapy, behavioral or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), group therapy, and medication.
- Early treatment is more likely to be effective, and can help avoid a decline into alcoholism or other destructive behavior.