Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:The Effects and Perspective of This

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:The Effects and Perspective of This Disease Over TimeLiam GriffinSO201CAbstractPost Traumatic Stress Disorder is a physiological disorder that affects millions of people throughout the country. This leads to an effect in personality and affects their interactions with the people around them. This affects their families and can affect the whole dynamic of social interaction. Through surveys, the difference that PTSD makes on society can be more easily observed when compared to the rest of society. This research can provide the public with an insight to the true effects that PTSD has. Introduction Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has many effects on individuals, their families and come from many sources. Many people do not acknowledge the true impact this disease can have on society. A broader understanding can be obtained through psychological tests to the average citizen and citizens who have been diagnosed with PTSD. Through the results of the tests, the overall effects that it has on a person’s mind and tendencies can show the true impact it has one families around the United States. Effects on Individual Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is mental condition that affects millions of individuals.  Over one and a half million members of the military alone have been diagnosed with PTSD.  The condition is the result of experiencing a stressful, traumatic or in some cases life threatening event with which the individual has difficulty coping.  This inability to cope results in “reliving” the event over and over again through flashbacks, dreams, and memory triggers that remind them of the event and bring it to the surface all over again.  Each re-occurrence is like experiencing the event all over again and thus exacerbates the condition.  PTSD is often associated with combat and events that soldiers have witnessed during deployments in the military.  However, PTSD can be the result of many stressful events including sexual assault, repeated harassment and stalking just to name a few.  Many life experiences can have lasting impacts on the human psyche (Peck, 1).PTSD is often not diagnosed or even mis-diagnosed because sometimes the symptoms of the condition don’t surface until months or even years after the experience, and in some cases may come and go.  Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include nightmares of the event, anger or irritability, insomnia and depression ( Iribarren, 2005). Many people with PTSD may also abuse alcohol or drugs as a way to cope and often they withdraw from family and friends and lose interest in many activities. Untreated, PTSD can be  life threatening;  however, with proper diagnosis and treatment the condition can be managed and treated.  The most common methods of treatment for the condition is counseling and medication (Peck, 2). Counseling can help the individual learn coping strategies for the condition and how to identify triggers.  Commonly PTSD is treated with anti-depressants (also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRI’s), serotonin is the chemical in the brain that affects mood (Neagos, 2005).View of PTSD Over TimeOver the years people’s view on PTSD has changed. When it was first announced as an issue, many people did not understand the extent of it or just disregarded it entirely. Before it was given its official name, it was referred to as “shell shock” by military personnel after World War I(Peck, 5). PTSD started becoming more acknowledged following World War II and the Vietnam War (Peck, 6). Since then, medications and suppressants have been created to aid with this disease, but currently there is not a cure. Groups have been formed to support these individuals and bring victims of it together. Today PTSD has multiple support groups, research, and medications to help those affected. Throughout the years we have made great strides in combating this disease and aiding those who it torments everyday. Effects on Family PTSD and the effects of it can have life altering effects on the individual as well as their family.  I can speak about this first hand.  My father was a soldier in the US Army in the 54th Quartermaster Mortuary Affairs Unit for four years.  He then served in the Army Reserves for three years in the 118th Infantry Division.  During his years of service in the military he was deployed to Croatia, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.  After his return from his last deployment, he was not the same person that we had taken to the airport and watched as he boarded the plane with his unit.  He returned withdrawn and moody and a heavy drinker.  The dad who once was full of fun and always played and took us to the movies would now anger over such things as the light being left on, or if he couldn’t find his tie.Over time, the angry outburst became the norm.  My older sister was in high school at the time and had job after school.  She would call my mom on her way home from work to see “what kind of mood dad was in” so she would know whether to come home or wait till he went to bed.  As time went on, the verbal outbursts turned to physical against my mother, my brother and sister and me.  Ultimately, my mom and dad separated and divorced but remained friends. My dad sought treatment at Walter Reed Military Hospital.  He was diagnosed at that time with PTSD and he was getting treatment, but it would take months for him to get appointments so his therapy was sporadic and minimal.  On April 10, 2012, the demons that he had struggled with for so many years overcame him and he took his own life with a single gunshot to the head. This is just a personal example of what a family member of a person affected with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can go through. Thousands of people per year go through a similar struggle and the numbers only rise throughout the years (Anonymous, 2010). This causes many financial and emotional struggles to those who were close or dependent to these individuals. Research ProposalPeople’s views of PTSD has changed throughout the years. In order to understand the impact of this disease, surveys will be given to those affected by this disease and their family members. Questions will be asked on what has changed in their lives following the traumatic event they are affected by. On a scale from 1-5 (1 is completely disagree, 5 is completely agree), they will fill out a set of statements comparing their social lives and communications after the even compared to their life before this event. A control group of people will be given the same test and will compare their interactions after a difficult time in their lives. Their scores will be compared and the impact that PTSD has on social interactions and dynamics will be the result.ConclusionWe will never be able to prevent exposure to traumatic situations nor control the reactions of individuals to that exposure.  In fact, we now live in a world that is more volatile, violent and controversial than ever.  We must take care of those who have taken care of us, and never lose site of the fact that just because the soldier has come home from war, doesn’t mean they’re not still fighting it every day. This creates many obstacles for the individual and their families which have profound effects of society. ReferencesPeck, D. (1984, December). A Sociology of Survivors: Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Retrieved November 26, 2017, fromhttp://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1674&context=jsswPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (2017, April 03). Retrieved November 27, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorderPTSD: National Center for PTSD. (2010, June 09). Retrieved November 27, 2017, from      https://www.ptsd.va.gov/PTSD/public/family/effects-ptsd-family.aspIribarren, J., Prolo, P., Neagos, N., & Chiappelli, F. (2005, December). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Evidence-Based Research for the Third Millennium. Retrieved November 27, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1297500/Xue, C., Ge, Y., Tang, B., Liu, Y., Kang, P., Wang, M., & Zhang, L. (2015). A Meta-Analysis of Risk Factors for Combat-Related PTSD among Military Personnel and Veterans. Retrieved November 27, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4368749/