Those who served or are serving the military are exposed to countless traumatic events while heeding the call of duty. Unfortunately, they may have survived the war, but hell followed them home.
Aside from physical disabilities and other permanent damages they brought back from the battlefield, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an unseen enemy lurking in our soldiers’ mental and emotional health. Shell shock is not just nightmares and recollection of almost-doom moments. It is a serious condition that could ultimately lead to death.
National PTSD Awareness Day started in 2010 to pay tribute to a fallen North Dakota National Guard who took his own life after two deployments to Iraq. Find out more about how this disorder burdens millions of our American heroes to better understand the ravaging effects of their line of work. This way, we get to appreciate their patriotism better - and with it, our freedom.
1. PTSD does not look the same for those who suffer from it.
According to medical experts, combat and combat-related military service can be traumatic for anyone deployed into them. However, not everyone who serves in those conditions takes the impact the same way. Developing PTSD is the next bit for some, while others rise up unaffected. This doesn’t mean that those who acquired PTSD are less soldiers than those who didn’t.
2. PTSD symptoms vary.
As often depicted in Hollywood movies, some experience “flashbacks” of traumatic experiences when suffering from PTSD. This is not the only indicator though. There are also seemingly unnoticeable symptoms such as different degrees of irritability, anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies. This is why early diagnosis and treatment is vital to overcoming PTSD symptoms.
3. PTSD can either hyper-up or paralyze its sufferer.
Depending on the individual, PTSD can retain high-functionality - meaning he or she can go on with business and life as usual. At the same time, there are others who are debilitated by its effects, disabling them from their normal lives and making them unfit to work for a certain period of time.
We see how valiant our military men and women are. We welcome them home with open arms, not knowing that the battle is probably just beginning for them. With PTSD, there isn’t a smooth transition back to civilian life - maybe even none for another assignment. This National PTSD Awareness Day, let’s be mindful about those who are under its vicious effects and become more sensitive to their bouts with the disorder.