War Veterans: Depression, PTSD And Suicide

Source: drugrehab.org

 

Based on statistics, at least one US military veteran kills himself every 72 minutes. In fact, the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed that in the year 2014, approximately 20 veterans committed suicide each day. This is the latest statistics available on the matter. PTSD and depression are some of the possible causes of this high suicide number, which is why companies like BetterHelp.com have put a lot of resources into educating people about the importance and seriousness of depression.

 

David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, told The Hill (a political website in the US) that this is an unacceptable number. He said that that in order to cater to the problem, they are evaluating the factors and are looking into more researches and new treatments and therapies.

 

Defense Suicide Prevention Office shows the suicide report for the first quarter of 2017.

 

  • 31 National Guard Suicides
  • 20 Reserves Suicides
  • 71 Active Duty Suicides

Providing Care For PTSD

Source: anxiety.org

Sexual and physical abuse, violence or any stressful and frightening experiences are just some of the most common causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These are experiences you wouldn’t even wish on your worst enemy. And because these are so traumatizing it leaves a huge scar into people’s lives affecting their lives, haunting them like a very bad nightmare. If you are someone who is caring for someone who is suffering from PTSD, here are some helpful guidelines to remember when caring and supporting them.

Why Talk Therapy Is So Helpful in Treating PTSD

Source: military.com

What happens in PTSD?

PTSD refers to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a mental health condition faced by someone who has experienced a traumatic event, both happening to him or someone else, and display the symptoms of PTSD for at least a month. The following symptoms are most commonly found in those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; they can be broadly categorized under four headings:

  • Re-experiencing Symptoms

These involve the flashbacks or nightmares a person may have after the specific event. It may make the PTSD person lose track of reality for some time. He or she might feel as if everything is happening all over again. Sometimes events may be recreated differently through intrusive thoughts by the concerned person.

  • Avoidance Symptoms

Someone who is suffering from PTSD would avoid any sort of trigger points such as the specific location where the event happened or a place linked to it, similar situations, sounds, and sometimes even people as well. They may try to isolate themselves from others as feelings of distrust, anxiety, depression, guilt or even revenge take charge of their emotions.

  • Hyper-arousal Symptoms

PTSD patients may usually become angry and irritable. They may also get increasingly concerned about their safety, feeling hyper-vigilant in even normal scenarios. This behavior can sometimes even progress to recklessness and self-harm if suitable help is not acquired.

Although the event had left an important mark on their lives, these people often find it hard to remember important details of it. Their memory regarding the event surrounds more around the feelings of fear rather than the actual details. They might even not have the same interest level in things they used to find enjoyable before and their habits will dramatically change post-trauma.

How can talk therapy help?

Source: americanmentalwellness.org

With several treatment options ranging from medical help to even yoga, talk therapy is also an effective way to help PTSD patients; and currently BetterHelp offers this type of support online via their website: https://www.betterhelp.com/start/. Talk therapy is basically a form of psychotherapy which caters to those with cognitive disorders. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is also a form of talk therapy. It focuses primarily on changing the thinking patterns of such people by replacing negative thoughts causing dysfunctional behavior with positive ones. In addition to CBT, PTSD patients can also undergo exposure therapy, also a type of talk therapy, which allows patients to face their fears in a secure way.

Why should you give it a try?

Source: hs.iastate.edu

  • It has long-lasting positive effects

When you are taking part in a talk therapy, you are not only curing a mental health issue but are essentially building tools that will help you deal with similar problems in the future. It allows you to develop a reflective lens for everything to experience in life. You learn to think, express feelings about and learn from these events; moreover, you will have more control over your emotions if any similar traumatic situation occurs in the future.

  • It provides you with a new perspective about others

Instead of having feelings of anger and distrust for others, you will be better able to understand not only yourself but others, too after talk therapy. We generally tend to view the world and others in it through a single lens that is primarily based on the traumatic experience that we had. By talking about it and resolving internal conflicts, we would be able to get rid of the unnecessary assumptions about others, too.

  • It makes you feel less alone

After facing all the flashbacks and nightmares all alone, you can now feel less alone and more relieved by talking to a therapist. It will provide you the comfort of knowing that someone is there to help you. You can even join support groups and meet new people who support and honor your struggle with PTSD.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/06/03/11-intriguing-reasons-to-give-talk-therapy-a-try/#71c8e2a44ebb

This is how it has been proven that talk therapy tends to help PTSD patients a great deal.…

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder In War Veterans


Source: sott.net

With decades long conflicts in the Middle East, a large number of military veterans are coming home with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).For the past years, a significant increase was seen in the number of Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans seeking professional help for PTSD. PTSD is not exclusively seen in military personnel and veterans, in fact, it affects about eight million Americans in a given year but the circumstances of military veterans hinders them for receiving the appropriate treatment.

Effects Of PTSD On The Brain

      

Source: shimisoku.biz

Changes in the Hippocampus

The hippocampus is the area of the brain that regulates happiness, joy, hunger, and it also regulates memories. Without the hippocampus, the brain would be unable to distinguish time frames for memories, as it aids in differentiating what memories took place in the past and what is happening in the present.

When PTSD occurs, the stress that takes place alters the hippocampus by killing cells, causing it to become less effective. In this weakened state, the hippocampus has trouble identifying what memories occurred in the past and which memories occur in the present. Because of this, flashbacks and memories that flood the brain cause the patient to believe that they are reliving their traumatic event.

In the Family – Helping A Loved One With PTSD

 

source: takemehomehuey.org

What to Expect

It’s important to remember that the behavior of someone who has PTSD is almost always plagued with symptoms that cause them to act much differently, often against their will. Remember to be patient and try your hardest not to become upset with a loved one who is experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Here are some symptoms and behaviors that are caused by PTSD that are commonly present and can alter your relationship with your loved one:

  •  Triggers that cause flashbacks, nightmares, and unwanted memories of the traumatic event in question (It’s important to be sensitive to these triggers and to help your loved one avoid or cope with them)
  •  Change in attitude towards you or someone they know, often caused by mistrust in others as the result of a traumatic event (Try and remember that it’s nothing personal, they simply have issues with trust after what they’ve been through)
  • Inability to talk about the traumatic event (Remember, try not to push them and wait until they’re ready to talk)
  • Extreme paranoia and loss of faith in the world (again, remember that it’s nothing personal)
  • Panic attacks or overwhelming fear

Resources For PTSD

 

Source: takemehomehuey.org

 Get Educated: Informational Literature

Learning as much as you can about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can dramatically increase the chances of recovery. By reading about PTSD, you’ll know what to expect from symptoms and behaviors, how to recover, treatment plans, and much more useful information. Here are some books that would be beneficial to read:

I Can’t Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors, Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D. –A comprehensive guide to recovering from PTSD that includes coping mechanisms and helpful tips that aid in the road to recovery.

Suicide And Self Injury – The Risk Of PTSD

 

Source: verywell.com

 Suicide in PTSD Patients

Due to traumatic events, the onset of PTSD, and the possibility of co-occurring mental illnesses, PTSD patients are more susceptible to suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Studies have shown that the connection between PTSD and suicide is because of the guilt, sadness, shame, and other intense symptoms that come with PTSD and its possible coinciding conditions. Traumatic incidents are also the root of suicidal tendencies, especially when it causes the onset of PTSD. Many people don’t realize the severity of PTSD and how drastically it can increase the probability of suicide. Here are some statistics about PTSD related suicides.

The Overlap Of PTSD And Other Mental Illnesses

 

Source: sciencedaily.com

Similarity of Symptoms

The primary reason why PTSD often co-occurs with other mental disorders is because of the similarities between symptoms of PTSD and the symptoms of other typical mental illnesses. There are quite a lot of symptoms typically associated with PTSD that are also the typical symptoms of mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and others.

PTSD From Combat

Symptoms of Combat PTSD

Source: thesurvivaldoctor.com

 

Combat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder involves trauma as the result of extreme violence, whether that be being in a war, being the victim of gun violence, or other intense events. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder usually has similar symptoms across the board, regardless of what caused the disorder to develop. However, combat PTSD in particular has unique symptoms because of the unique and intense circumstances that led to the disorder.