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PTSD in Veterans and Victims of Natural Disaster

November 9, 2012

After someone endures a traumatic event in his or her life, there is often stress that follows years after that event.  PTSD or posttraumatic stress disorder is becoming more widespread in America, especially within our armed forces. PTSD differs from a similar disorder “acute stress disorder” or ASD: a psychic distress after a disaster that can last up to a month.  A study done in the Huffington post confirms that more soldiers are dying from suicide than any other injuries or accidents from combat. The article states that this past July was the deadliest of all month with 38 suicides among active duty and reserve soldiers. These statistics are truly astounding and this disorder has spread due to the fact that when our active duty and veterans come home care isn’t readily available.

In recent years and in a down economy mental health programs have burdened a large amount of budget cuts. The cuts to mental health programs have reach such staggering proportions that in August, president Obama signed an executive order to hire more mental health professionals to serve our veterans and active duty military. The article states that: “We must do more and sooner, or the numbers we’re seeing will quadruple and impact us all.” (Woods, Huffington Post).

Not only is PTSD seen in our veterans, there have been many cases related to the events of 9/11 and natural disasters including the recent aftermath from hurricane Sandy. Another article I found discusses the traumatic events that recently occurred due to hurricane Sandy and the related stress that follows. This article also discussed the various coping methods dealing with PTSD including the therapy sessions needed to overcome the disorder or illness.  The safest and most effective approach to dealing with PTSD emphasizes “careful listening to assess a person’s response, assessment of an individual’s capacity to cope and their risk of self-destructive behavior” (Sederer M.D., HP). Non-judgmental opinion is always encouraged and mostly is important to receive help from someone you trust. Sederer relates these methods to the recent tragedy and aftermath of Sandy. He points out that currently there are important recourses for people dealing with traumatic stress available in New York City 24 hours a day from Lifenet (1-800-LIFENET).  It was reassuring to me that mental health professionals are utilizing their skills in a time of need. PTSD is a very serious issue that needs to be examined to fully comprehend what someone experiences while going through extreme traumatic stress.

 

Daniel Roth

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-nealonwoods/veterans-mental-health_b_2070645.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lloyd-i-sederer-md/hurricane-sandy-mental-health_b_2089645.html

 

 

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 21, 2012 6:26 pm

    Good articles to know about; PTSD is incredibly predictable, so it is particularly infuriating that people often don’t have access to the help they need.

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