Soldier Calls for Understanding of PTSD

by on September 5, 2013

Can you imagine what it would be like to live through an unspeakably horrible event? How do you think it would affect you — your relationships, your outlook on life, your personality?

One man who was recently given the national Medal of Honor thinks that witnessing the violence of a war can change anyone irrevocably. He argues that it is normal for people  to be strongly affected by the extreme terror characteristic of a war.

By his account, calling the aftereffects of war on people ‘a disorder’  is misleading and harmful. He does not believe that people who walk away from a tragic or life-threatening event should be labeled as ‘mentally ill’ because of their natural reaction (fear, horror, sadness, guilt, anger) to unimaginable circumstances.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (better known as “PTSD”) is a mental health condition in which someone feels constantly tense and uneasy after experiencing a very dangerous or mentally taxing event. He or she becomes unable to accept that the danger is gone. Even if a person with PTSD knows that the unpleasant event is over, his or her body is still overly alert. This can lead to stress and irritability. The person may feel reluctant to discuss his or her feelings about the event with others. This can lead to the deterioration of personal relationships.

Concentrating can also become more difficult for people with PTSD because they may have disturbing flashbacks of the trauma and feel unable to sleep peacefully.

If you want to know more about PTSD and what the recent medal-recipient believes about it, click on the link to the original article here:

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/08/30/ptsd-is-not-a-disorder-says-medal-of-honor-winner/ 

Photo Credit: The U.S. Army via Compfight cc

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