PTSD a Growing Problem as More Vets Come Home
About 2. 4 million soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan to this point in the most recent conflict and, as those veterans return home, the Veterans Administration is seeing more and more cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Last year alone, the VA treated nearly 100-thousand of these Iraq and Afghanistan vets for PTSD, which is estimated to be much lower than the number of vets currently suffering.
Captain Paul Hammer, a psychiatrist and director for the Department of Defense’s Center for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, explains that these soldiers brains become unable to remove the ‘fight-or-flight’ instict after trauma.
“The cognitive part of your brain has difficulty telling it, ‘No, I’m OK now. I’m in a safe place,’” said Hammer.
Upon their return from combat, soldiers often find monontany in their every day lives. They can struggle to continue relationships they had before being deployed and have difficulty feeling fulfilled and purposeful.
Some soldiers admit there is a certain stigma around admitting to suffering from PTSD, which hinders recovery. With more and more veterans returning to home, however, it is becoming imperative that these men and women seek the help they need.
Shoshana Guy has a story of one such soldier struggling in his return home at Rock Center.