Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder of Veterans - Psychology Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1456 Words
Date:  2021-06-11

IntroductionPost -Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health problem that some individual develop after facing a life-threatening event. In this paper, the coverage will focus on the veterans who are the ideal candidate for this disorder since they face a lot of life-threatening event while in combat. The paper will concentrate on the background information, the physical limitation, the past, present and future and also the psychological evaluations.

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The statistics of PTSD are a moving target which is fuzzy since one cannot necessarily rely on the PTSD that was diagnosed within one year after which the soldiers went back to battle (Foundation, 2017). According to the veterans statistics which was from the findings of National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, the result indicated that 15% of the Vietnam theater veterans had PTSD at the time of the study and 30% of those men had PTSD at some point in their life.

From September 2014 about 2.7 million American Veterans of Iran and Afghanistan fought the Vietnam War. According to the report given out, there were at least 20% of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who had PTSD. In a study done on the male and the female soldiers aged 18 years or older who returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, the range was from 9% after they return and 31% a year after the deployment. Research shows that 50% of the veterans who suffers from PTSD do not seek treatment and out the half that seeks treatment, only half get the treatment (Foundation, 2017). Recent statistics show that the rate of veteran suicide is much higher than it has been thought to be. Based on the 2012 suicide data report, 22 individual per day and 8000 per year commit suicide after suffering from PTSD


Many veterans who return from the military service find it hard to cope with the post-traumatic stress disorder. They find it hard to cope and readjust to their life away from the military. The feeling of being on edge, emotionally numb and being disconnected or even close to exploding is normal to the veterans (Combs et al., 2015). PSTD is sometimes referred to as shell shock or combat stress. It happens when one experiences a severe trauma or a life-threatening event. It is normal for the mind and the body to be in shock after such an event but how one responds becomes a PTSD when the nervous system does not cope, but instead it becomes stuck.

The nervous system has got two reflexive ways that it uses to respond to stressful events. It can use mobilization which is fight or flight. This reflexive approach occurs when one need to defend themselves or even survive the danger of a combat situation. In this way, the heart pounds faster and the blood pressure rises while the muscle tightens thus increasing the strength and the reaction speed (Combs et al., 2015). The other reflexive way is known as immobilization which occurs when an individual has experienced too much stress in a situation, and although the danger has already gone, the person dwells in it and feels the stick. The nervous system is unable to return to its normal state of balance, and the person cannot move on from that traumatic event. Individuals who suffer from PTSD experience nightmares, flashbacks and they often have difficulties in sleeping.

Physical Limitations


PTSD symptoms can disrupt ones life and make it hard for a person to continue with ones daily activities. There various symptoms of PTSD and they include:

Reliving the event- memories of the traumatic event might come back at any time making one feel fear and horror like the one felt during the actual event (Mayo Clinic, 2017). One experiences nightmares, flashback which means that they relive the traumatic event over and over again.

Being reminded of the event by some situations- some individuals fear crowds since they feel dangerous (Mayo Clinic, 2017). They can feel scared to watch a movie about earthquakes and afraid to drive if the military convoy was bombed.

Having negative beliefs and feelings- the way one thinks can change because of the trauma like staying away from relationships and thinking that the world is ultimately dangerous and that no one should be trusted.

The individual might feel keyed up- the PTSD patient keeps on the lookout for danger. They suddenly become angry or irritable (Mayo Clinic, 2017). The condition is referred to as hyperarousal. The individual experiences a hard time sleeping, trouble concentrating and they get startled by a loud noise or surprise.

Mental health

According to the accountability of the US. Government Office, about 2.1 million veterans receive mental treatment in a five-year period. Veterans mental health emanates from substance abuse due to stress and the exposure they get in combat. On a study carried out by an organization, it was indicated that 25% of the veterans who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan showed signs of substance abuse disorder (Foundation, 2017). A survey also showed that there was a link between traumatic brain injury and PTSD. The evidence revealed that the military members who experienced a traumatic brain injury were more than twice likely to suffer from PTSD (Combs et al., 2015). Since the onset of PTSD was 3-4 months after deployment, the critical component of veteran mental health was identifying the time that the treatment is needed.


PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs after the veteran experiences a traumatic event. During this event, the veteran believes that their lives is in danger and might feel helpless over what is happening (Palyo, & Beck, 2005). The disorder can be caused by different events like combat or military exposure, terrorist attacks, serious accidents, natural disasters and physical assault. After the event, the veteran feels scared, confused and angry. If the feeling does not go away, the persons life gets disrupted. The causes worsen if the trauma is intense and it occurred for a long time if someone close to the veteran was lost or hurt (Palyo, & Beck, 2005). It also depends on the proximity of the event; the emotion felt, the strength of the reaction and the help that the veteran got after the event occurred.


PTSD makes the veterans hard to live with. It might be a challenge to live with someone who has nightmares and often avoid social situations. If the veteran has a family, it can highly affect them and take a toll on their care. Some develop marital problems and family violence, and they end up making the situation to be worse (Palyo, & Beck, 2005). The PTSD veterans might have a hard time feeling the emotion and therefore might feel detached from others. They have problems with personal relationships and might even cause behavioral problems in children.

Physiological Evaluations

Personal Story used by a Veteran

The story given by a veteran or a soldier who has PTSD is that of guilt and regret. Some talks of the story of how the war was deadly and how they watched their loved ones fall in battle. The events and flashbacks of how things turned on them or how they were attacked by the enemy. The self-critic never stops, and they think that they are their enemy with their mind wishing for a different turn of events.


There is a proper treatment that is available for PTSD veterans. Instead of telling others how the traumatic experience was, talking to a therapist might be of great help. One of the treatment is a cognitive-behavioral therapy which involves counseling. It enables the PTSD patient to understand the trauma and its aftermath (Palyo, & Beck, 2005). There is also exposure therapy which allows one to have less fear about the traumatic memories. One can also consider group therapy, family therapy, and group psychodynamic therapy. In cases of medication, prescription of antidepressant medicine like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or (SSRIs) can be recommended.


PTSD develops in people who experiences a scary or dangerous event like the soldiers in combat. Although it is natural to feel afraid when the feeling persists, and the reaction towards an event causes nightmares and flashbacks that frighten, then help should be sought out before one end up having traumatic brain injury.


Combs, H., Berry, D., Pape, T., Babcock-Parziale, J., Smith, B., & Schleenbaker, R. et al. (2015). The Effects of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Combined Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on Returning Veterans. Journal Of Neurotrauma, 32(13), 956-966.

Foundation, N. (2017). Veteran Mental Health - Facts and Stats that need to be Addressed. National Veterans Foundation. Retrieved 20 March 2017, from

Mayo Clinic, (2017). Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 20 March 2017, from

Palyo, S., & Beck, G. (2005). Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, pain, and perceived life control: Associations with psychosocial and physical functioning. Pain, 117(1), 121-127.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder of Veterans - Psychology Paper Example. (2021, Jun 11). Retrieved from

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