PTSD.net website connections between PTSD and other common health disorders: PTSD.net had interviewers go out and conduct studies on virtually every non-psychotic psychiatric patient for PTSD and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Surprisingly, about half the patients in the study containing persons in clinical practices, presented to the interviewers, that patients with PTSD, of varying severity and obtrusiveness, and of any age from six years to beyond sixty years, are found to have, when sought, the ADHD-type brain, with or without some ADHD-related difficulties (co-morbidities). The onset of PTSD, as with any other significant adverse life event, appears to trigger a destabilisation of any previously-compensated-for-and-stabilized ADHD-related difficulties.
PTSD.net interviewers conducted their research finding routine endeavors to eliminate PTSD when PTSD presents, and then make sure that we do not neglect to seek for ADHD, and if ADHD is present, we manage any persisting ADHD-related difficulties (comorbidities). And vice versa: we routinely manage ADHD-related difficulties (co-morbidities) when they present, making sure that we seek for PTSD, and if PTSD is present we endeavour to eliminate it, to help in later management of the ADHD.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf this website has lots of information about the cost of the war on terror.
https://www.ptsdforum.org/c/threads/the-effects-of-ptsd-on-families-of-military-personnel.3137/ this website describes the effects of PTSD on military families.
Posted By: Hali Sorensen
POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
Jeff is a young twenty eight year old male who was stationed in Afghanistan for two years on active duty. While overseas Jeff was thrown into situations that he would never wish upon even his worst enemy. Gun shots, grenade explosions, Humvee traps, removing tags from fallen soldiers and watching your closest friend there be shot right in front of him were just a few of the many horrific experiences he endured. When it finally came time for his deployment to be over Jeff was thrilled to be going home where he knew it was safe. Upon arrival home, Jeff was overjoyed to see his beautiful wife of five years and their two year old daughter Grace. Little did Jeff know home was no longer a safe place where he could escape his worst nightmares. At night Jeff would have flashbacks and realistic dreams of what had happened in Afghanistan. Jeff did not know what to think about his nightmares, ever since he returned from the war he could not get the bloody images out of his head. These occurrences not only happened at night but also throughout the day. Many times during the day time Jeff would have flashbacks to the moment his Humvee was nearly sliced in half by a rocket-propelled grenade. During these flashbacks and nightmares Jeff would start to sweat and became very sensitive to loud noises. His wife got very concerned for his health and made him go to e Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital for an evaluation. Doctors at the VA hospital have dealt with patients just like Jeff; they knew exactly what was wrong with Jeff. He was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although the story above is fictional, PTSD is very real and affects thousands of men and women. According to Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, post traumatic stress disorder is defined as; “psychological reaction that occurs after experiencing a highly stressing event, such as wartime, outside the range of normal human experience.” Post traumatic stress disorder has not always been its known name. In fact, shell shock, war neurosis, stress response syndrome, war hysteria and Vietnam veteran syndrome are all a name for what is now known as PTSD. PTSD is not a simple psychological disorder as many assume it to be.
Many symptoms of PTSD as easily recognized while others are masked by the disorder. Symptoms as also known to come on suddenly, gradually or even come and go over time. According to Dr. Melinda Smith, PTSD symptoms can be broken down into three categories: re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoiding reminders of the trauma and finally an increase in anxiety and emotional arousal. (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms, Treatment and Self-Help. 2010). Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event, flashbacks, nightmares, intense distress and reactions when reminded of the trauma are all symptoms of PTSD patients while re-experiencing the traumatic event. Symptoms that can be categorized under “avoidance and numbing,” include; avoiding activities, places, thoughts or feelings related to the trauma, inability to remember important aspects of trauma, loss of interest in activities and life in general, feeling detached from others and emotionally numb and also a sense of a limited future. The third and final category or symptoms is “Increased anxiety and emotional arousal.” Difficulty falling or staying asleep, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance and feeling jump and easily startled are all common signs or symptoms under this category.
Treating PTSD can be a difficult challenge due to the fact that everybody responds differently to treatment techniques. As studies have shown there are techniques that have been proven to work and shown improvement of the disorder. Desensitization, psychological and medical treatment and also having a sturdy support system behind you are all ways in which PTSD can be treated. Desensitization is a technique that encourages suffers to remember traumatic experience and express feeling about it. Studies have found that overtime memories begin to become less frightening. (Bryant & Friedman. 2001). Another technique is psychological treatment. This technique is pretty straight forward in the sense that it is directed toward the psychological concern associated with PTSD. Medical treatment on the other hand can focus on many aspects of the disorder, such as depression, paranoia and mood adjustments. Some problems that have been found to arise from medical treatment is the issue of dependency. Like with any problem we face in life having a good support system behind you is extremely helpful. Friends, family and loved ones are prime examples of a support system that should stand by patient’s side and help them to a full recovery. Research has found that a mixture of the four techniques has been proven to work the most effective. (Bryant & Friedman. 2001).
PTSD can occur in any male or female of any age. Studies have found however that men have a 30% high risk of developing PTSD compared to women. PTSD is also not just for young individuals who have just gotten back from the war zone; it is also very common for older adults to suffer from PTSD. Many older adults suffer from PTSD and have continued to suffer it due to that fact that they are ashamed or embarrassed to let anyone know about it let alone get treatment. (Weintraub & Ruskin. 1999). Once older adults let their PTSD get to severe cases and let the duration continue there are problems that can occur as age increases. Older patients suffering from PTSD are at a higher risk for social isolation and have a lack of opportunity for life review. Other problems associated with PTSD in older adults include difficulty accepting illness and coping with treatment and difficulty with the end of life processes. (Sorrel & Durham. 2011).
The case study of Jeff was a dramatization but surely hits very close to home for many people suffering from PTSD. The side effects of PTSD not only can inhibit the individual but it can also increase the likelihood of problems to occur within the family or even later on down the road if gone untreated. PTSD is a serious disorder and should be handled immediately once signs or symptoms are present.
Published by: Molly Swander 4/18/13