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Not Giving Up: Dealing with Military PTSD and Living a Full Life


What Military PTSD Entails and How to Deal with It

People who suffer from PTSD often do so alone, and that makes it difficult for them to live a balanced life. In fact, they don’t even realize they have PTSD until the symptoms become almost unbearable.

In addition to studying the symptoms and treatment, it is important to socialize and contact other people, who are able to support you on your healing journey. After learning about this condition, you should be able to clearly explain to others what is going on with you.

PTSD, especially the military one, is a hotly debated and researched question. That is why many schools and colleges give their students assignments with PTSD-related topics. If you are one of such students and doubt whether you can handle the task, you can try asking the best custom essay writing services for assistance.

People with PTSD often switch to a secluded lifestyle. Fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, confusion, and the feeling of depression are just some of the reasons why they can feel better when being alone. However, spending time with friends and supportive family members can significantly improve your mood.

But there are treatment approaches that can help people with PTSD regain their life balance and happiness. We are talking about practices that can help solve your physical, psychological, and emotional needs. The important thing is to find centers with a good reputation and make sure they are really focused on helping people with PTSD put their lives back on track.

PTSD statistics

In the United States, which have sophisticated monitoring systems, veteran/military students affected by the syndrome have reached a 40% share. In Britain, where the screening of the phenomenon is lacking, in 2009 almost 9% of the detained population were determined to come from the armed forces with 20,000 soldiers in jail (more than at the front lines). Not only the armies of the USA, Canada, UK, Israel, being traditionally very aggressive, are affected to a great extent by this “side effect” but also other western armies.

The problem is that they do not speak about it. The PTSD diagnostics are well-known, whereas understanding the disorder is a different, more complicated question.

Experts explain, “Soldiers, in general, are recruited by the weaker sections of the population and are afraid that a psychological problem compromises their career, especially in a ‘machine’ like the army.” They insist on this aspect: “A lot of our work goes in the direction of making the military understand that certain forms of stress, even acute, are part of their work in a physiological way: it is like a wound in the arm, nothing to worry about: is business as usual.”

How to understand the disorder

Arjen Coops is an operator of the research Institute, one of those responding to the phone and sorting out the requests says: “We did not put a phone number dedicated to the psychological problems because they would never call, the stereotype of the super-man is too strong.”

In general, people phone with an excuse, and it is up to the operator’s sensitivity to understand if there is an underhand request. Arjen continues: “My military background, as a former military doctor, came back very useful.”

The Checkpoint magazine, edited and distributed by the Institute, has entered the homes of 80,000 veterans. With its help, soldiers have the opportunity to read stories similar to theirs, and this is already an important first step to “normalize”  their lives.

Debriefing at the Grand Hotel

Debriefing is a technique used by each army in the phase following a mission shift. Algra, another Institute researcher, explains: “After the shift, the soldiers are sent for a few days (three or four) to a large tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast, a good place to decompress and prepare for the most complicated step — return to the real world. There they meet psychologists and psychiatrists who explain them in great detail what kind of symptoms or discomforts they can face, what to do, and what not to do.”

Recognition and integration

What emerged from the Institute’s studies is that the major problem encountered by the veterans was in their return to civil life. “The Srebrenica massacre marked a turning point in the understanding of the relationship between the building of the historical-political judgment, the social judgment, and the rehabilitation processes of the soldiers.”

Scagliola, another researcher who has been coordinating the interviews of more than 1,000 soldiers representing all the conflicts in which the Netherlands has been involved, explains: “Even from the conversations emerges what was already clear from the beginning — when the civilian population perceives a war as useless or unjust, social judgment falls heavily on the participated individual and turns into hostility and contempt, which, from the the soldier’ point of view, is incomprehensible because he feels he has sacrificed himself. The soldiers are trained only to obey, not to understand.”

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