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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

“The system should assume due to the current conditions of today’s current conflicts, that PTSD is inevitable. And that counseling should be made mandatory after deployment” (Anonymous, 2007).

The following is put out by the Madison Institute of Health. Their website Facts for Health has a comprehensive and straightforward section on PTSD: As the name implies, posttraumatic stress disorder occurs only after

“I was rushed out, but at that point it was what I wanted. I wanted to distance myself

(post) an extremely stressful event (trauma). The more severe the trauma

from the military a much as possible, as quickly as possible. It was emphasized to me

and the longer the person is exposed to it, the greater the likelihood of

that I should keep many DD214 copies. I’d just gotten back from Iraq so my head was

developing PTSD.

in a strange decompressing state. I was still anticipating attack” (Anonymous, 2007).

Post traumatic stress disorder scared the living hell out of me. I started experiencing PTSD symptoms while I was still on active duty and stationed stateside. I started having flashbacks, loss of sleep, and hyper vigilance that made no sense to me and was very scary. One month I was healthy and then gradually my qual-

Three or more of the following characteristics are usually present:

• • • • •

numbing, detachment or absence of emotional response reduced awareness of surroundings (being dazed) sensation that surroundings are distorted or unreal the feeling that you are different, strange or unreal an inability to remember parts of the trauma.

ity of life rapidly deteriorated. After my honorable discharge I bit the bullet and

In addition to three or more of these five characteristics, the traumatic

registered at the VA hospital. Registering was a frustrating process but after that

event is relived repeatedly. This can take the form of recurrent images,

was over I did receive help from the clinics there. The biggest challenge for me was

thoughts, dreams or “flashbacks” of the event. Even reminders of the

having to explain to people what I was going through. I felt like I was crazy. I was

event can cause extreme distress, so many people go out of their way

not comfortable talking to my family and friends about it.

to avoid places or events that resemble the traumatic event in some ways. Many experience increased anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness,

As you read more about PTSD in this section, please remember that having PTSD is

irritability, poor concentration, hyper vigilance or an exaggerated startle

not something you should be ashamed of. Not learning coping skills or avoiding

response. Some are even plagued by feelings of “survivor’s guilt,” because

treatment will make your life and transition harder than it needs to be. Please use these pages as a starting point to help yourself.

they survived when others did not or because of certain things they may have had to do to survive. This complete set of symptoms is obviously very disruptive and stressful to the victim as well as their family and loved ones. It can even impair job performance and social functioning. (Madison Institute of Medicine, n.d.)

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You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are: A Straightforward Transition Manual  

A straightforward manual for veterans transitioning out the U.S. military.

You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are: A Straightforward Transition Manual  

A straightforward manual for veterans transitioning out the U.S. military.