Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
This is not
a new problem.
It used to be called Shell Shock or Battle Fatigue. Now it’s called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But whenever our soldiers return from war with mental or emotional injuries, the road back is difficult and often dangerous.
Avoiding feelings, conversations, and thoughts about a traumatic event.
Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time.
Many sufferers ignore warning signs and try to convince themselves that their experience did not affect them.
Sadness, grief, and depression can plague sufferers after the traumatic event.
Angry outbursts and general irritability are common traits of PTSD sufferers.
These emotional problems include fearfulness, depression, nervousness, and helplessness.
When scarred by traumatic war-time events, veterans experience anxiety and numbness that make it impossible to fully reconnect when they return home. Instead, PTSD often leads them to depression, broken families, abuse, homelessness, alcohol and drug dependence, and too often, suicide.
The symptoms of PTSD don’t always show up in the hours and days following the traumatic event. They can lie dormant for weeks, months, even years. They can arise gradually or suddenly. They can be triggered by a memory, a noise, a word, even a smell.
And if untreated, PTSD does not “get better” with time. It tends to get worse.