Thursday, March 10, 2011

Health professionals lack an understanding of the combat experience

Combat soldiers must face more than the enemy
March 10, 2011 - By MIKE REUTHER -

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a normal reaction to an intense experience and affects many soldiers who have been through combat.

Dr. Joshua Wilk, deputy branch chief, Department of Military Psychiatry Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, put into perspective the very real problem of PTSD at Lycoming College Wednesday night.

Along with depression, PTSD is among the more common components of the combat experience, including for many returning Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans.

Wilk said while PTSD and depression are not unusual, less than half of combat veterans experience symptoms linked to either emotional problem.

Still, he made it clear they are hardly unusual reactions to traumatic events. And while most combat veterans will adjust to life following war, it won't happen immediately upon returning home.

Among the symptoms of PTSD are trouble sleeping, irritability, blunted emotions, little tolerance for trivial incidents and overall hyper-alertness.

Unfortunately, less than half of all soldiers with PTSD symptoms seek help, many due to fear of the stigma attached to the problems.

Many other soldiers believe treatment for PTSD has little to offer.

In fact, Wilk noted, many health professionals lack an understanding of the combat experience.
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Combat soldiers must face more than the enemy

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, health professionals need to understand the life of a veteran. They experience things that truly horrific. Some watch an innocent child fall to their death. They never forget that image. I know I would not forget it either. Veterans should seek help from doctors that have a good understanding of war and the PTSD affects.


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