The effects of war on a soldier Essay
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War will never be pretty or fun. It will always be gruesome and will cause the loss of many lives. Everyone grieves over those lives that were lost, but what about the people that live? What about the people that are in the military hospitals who are now amputees? How about the ones that have psychological problems? What about those who have physical and mental issues? People are often not informed of this. One type of a mental disease is known as PTSD, there is a cause, effects, and treatment to this often carried war disease.
Through out history, war has been defined as a state of open, armed, often-prolonged conflict. We have fought in these many wars over such things as oil or different beliefs. A good example would be the World War 1. Most wars the men where young, ranging from ages of eighteen to twenty-six. These are the men that got these two terrible disorders. These are where the most terrible psychological issue occurred, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The two terrific disorders PTSD and Shell Shock, may have some similar symptoms, but have completely different effects and long-term issues. PTSD results from exposure to an overwhelmingly stressful event or series of events, such as war, rape, or abuse. It is a normal response by normal people to an abnormal situation. The traumatic events that lead to PTSD are typically so extraordinary or severe that they would distress almost anyone. These events are usually sudden. A good example of how a person would get this disorder from war would be seeing your friend being killed, being in the trenches too long, and possibly the constant artillery bombings.
This entire trauma that they experience will have a dramatic effect. The amygdale, a structure in the brain, is part of the limbic system that is involved in the expression of emotion, especially fear, increased heart rate and blood pressure, the startle response, and emotional memory. It is said that with long-term exposure to these traumatic experiences your brain functions are changed or altered. The area of the brain that releases chemicals to cope with stress releases chemicals like opiates. Since the subject is repeatedly exposed to this trauma, this part of the brain goes into overdrive and keeps producing these chemicals even when it may not need them. These chemicals are suspected of causing some of the symptoms of PTSD.
Dissociative states, flashbacks, intrusive emotions and memories, nightmares and night terrors avoiding emotions, relationships, responsibility for others, and avoiding situations that are reminiscent of the traumatic event often occur. Exaggerated startle reaction , explosive outbursts, Irritability, panic symptoms, and sleep disturbance also occur. These are all the symptoms of PTSD. As you can see, there are vast amount of signals or signs that people exhibit who have PTSD. Men who have PSTD caused by war, have showed more of the hyper arousal and intrusive symptoms. The reason is that you read all the time about how war veterans have flash back and how they are startled very easily.
There are many types of treatments along with drugs they can take to help cope with this disorder, one being psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is used to help the victim confront these painful memories to which the memories will no longer affect the way they live. There are certain steps within this process where the therapist walks the victim through the trauma and help he/she understand the feelings. Another type of treatment is EMDR, is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Supposedly, stimulating rapid eye movement helps the victim cope and process the traumatic event. This is usually added into psychotherapy, it is rarely used alone. Along with these two treatments a lot of pharmaceutical agents are used to help the victim cope. For example, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety agents can be used. Overall, PTSD is somewhat treatable but most likely the victims are going to lapse into another psychological disorder.