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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (ptsd)

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (ptsd)

PTSD

The basic theory of this research study is to examine how the length of time served in active duty is related to the likelihood that a soldier will develop PTSD. The likelihood spoken of here is as found after the treatment given by the military. The reasoning for this is because almost every soldier that is engaged in active duty develop some form of this disorder, thus those who have the more horrendous traumatic experiences develop a more measurable and manageable form of this disorder and are not effected by treatment. This will be measured in percentages of populations, which will allow for a generalization on how effected the men and woman are by the time they serve. In order to study the people affected by this disorder one must understand what this disorder is and how the military treats the disorder.

Veterans of wars of the last century seem to develop not only physical disorders but neurological disorders as well. These extreme effects on humans that are engaged in combat could be attributed to many different causes, and from these causes arrive many disorders. The most prominent disorder found in veterans is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a neurological condition that develops after a terrifying even or string of events that seemed to present the fear of physical harm. This is an affliction that is not limited to veterans alone; around 3.6% of people in the United States develop this disorder a year. A development of the disorder in civilians can be attributed to disasters (natural or human caused), violent personal assaults (rape or attempted murder), and even a day to day traffic accident. Defining symptoms of this condition are chronic flashbacks to the traumatic event, nightmares of the events, depression along with the flashbacks, irritability or emotional numbness, as well as believing that the traumatic event was the patients fault. In veterans, when these flashbacks become constant they are known as “shellshock”. This is a state where a veteran is constantly reliving his time served war. Physical symptoms are more general and are headaches, bowel distress, deficient immune system, as well as pain in any number of body parts for no apparent reason.

Treatment for this disorder is much harder to do then other neurological disorders. Physical symptoms can be temporarily stopped but until the metal component of this disorder is treated the pain will only worsen. One major treatment plan for veterans with this condition is to gradually make them relive the event. This “exposure theory” states that in order for a person to come to terms will the reality of the experience they must first confront their fear of it. A dilemma of this theory is that while one is trying to bring out the experience, this head on tactic may make the disorder worse.

A more medicinal approach to treating this disorder is to use medications. Inhibitors such as antidepressants allow for the receptors in parts of the brain to be shut down so that the one affected by this disorder can lead a normal life. In this treatment plan the part of the brain that is shut down can also cause emotional problems, because emotions and normal social reaction are being blocked, therefore creating other mental problems out side of PTSD.

Both of these treatments are very effective, but are only effective at certain times after exposure to the traumatic event. The military has a program that attempts to identify this disorder as early as possible, and does so by making each soldier returning from active duty take a survey and be evaluated by a psychiatrist. This allows for a formal evaluation to take place and in the case that the soldier does develop this disorder (over 90%), it can be treated effectively. This has allowed for the percentages of those who develop PTSD goes from an initial value of over 90% to a lesser value of 18% that have the disorder after treatment. The after treatment value is what is being examined in this research study.

They Study:

Participants for this study must have had some experience in active duty in the last of the two American wars, Vietnam and the Gulf War. They may have also just recently returned from active duty. The gender of the participant will not be taken into account due to how the experiment is focused on the total percentage of soldiers developed this disorder. Age, rank and time served will be recorded to investigate the hypothesis. The ethnicity will

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