05 Mar PTSD and Veterans
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that can develop in people who have gone through traumatic experiences. This is a common disorder in veterans who have experienced combat. In fact, thousands of veterans are diagnosed with PTSD every year. Often veterans will have experienced multiple traumas and are living with life-changing symptoms
The effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on military veterans is similar to the effects of PTSD on civilians but with a few additional complications. Additionally, the types of traumas that a veteran may have experienced are likely different than in the general population. For example, up to 95% of veterans who served in Iraq has seen a dead body and up to 93% have been shot at. – Healthy place 2020
What Is #PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome, it is a condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event. Studies show that the part of the brain that handles fear and emotion (the amygdala) is more active in people with PTSD.
Examples of things that can bring on PTSD include sexual or physical assault ,the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster. Families of victims can develop PTSD, as can emergency personnel that are exposed to traumatic events : Paramedics, Nurses, doctors Police, fire-brigade, and rescue worker
What are the stressors
Military PTSD is affected by stressors like being attacked or by knowing someone else in the military that was killed, and these are stressors that most soldiers face
- 95% have seen dead bodies.
- 93% have been shot at.
- 89% have been attacked or ambushed.
- 86% have received rocket or mortar fire.
- 86% know someone who has been killed or seriously injured.
The numbers are lower, but still significant, for those who served in Afghanistan -Healthy place (2020)
Why Veterans are less likely to seek help
This can be through the culture of the military and the beliefs that seeking help will show that they are weak and vulnerable and other reasons being:
- Concerns about being treated differently.
- Concern that others would lose confidence in them. See them on a different way
- Concerns about confidentiality and others finding out
- They prefer to rely on family and friends.
- They don’t believe treatment is effective.
- Concerns about side effects of medication that is available for PTSD
- Problems with access of Mental health services , or location of treatment.
- Concerns about whether seeking help would have an effect on their career in the military.
5- Symptoms of PTSD?
- Sleep Disturbances
Sleep disturbances are very common in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In
-nightmares ,insomnia, sleep avoidance and nocturnal panic attacks
- Depression and Apathy
A loss of interest and pleasure . Sudden feelings of anger with no reason Aggression towards others. Poor concentration Experiencing Suicidal thoughts Feelings of shame and guilt
- Flashbacks and Nightmares
Re-experiencing-reliving of the trauma through vivid nightmares and images. Intrusive thoughts. .Leading to avoidance of reminders of the Trauma causing a prevention of processing
- Super Alert
Excessive arousal : Constant awareness of threat. Heart racing, sweaty, racing thoughts, shaking, changes in body temperature. Easily startled , irritability and restlessness.
- Unhelpful coping strategies
Using alcohol or illegal Drugs to avoid thinking . Avoiding people, places, things, or memories that are a reminder of the trauma.
Feeling emotionally numb, that reduces communication with loved ones
What Treatments are available for PTSD ?
Exposure therapy: Re-living the traumatic incident.
Psychodynamic therapy: Handling personal values and emotional conflicts.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): Changing the thought process based on a series of eye movements.
Cognitive behaviour therapy: Changing the thought process.
At BraintrainersUK we offer EMDR or Trauma Focused CBT
EMDR -Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). According to the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Institute, EMDR therapy has been effective in helping nearly 80 percent of veterans diagnosed with PTSD
Since EMDR was developed it has been used successfully by millions of people to overcome PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Addictions and more. By stimulating the natural process of memory processing, EMDR works to re-program the brain and replace negative associations with positive and empowering thoughts.
These statistics may seem unbelievable to you , so have a look at our google reviews and read what our clients have said about how EMDR has changed their lives.
Cognitive behavioural therapy, (CBT), is a form of therapy that aims to change the way you think and act in order to help you in manage the negative effects of PTSD.
Trauma-focused CBT specifically looks at ways of allowing you to come to terms with events that have traumatised you through different psychological techniques.
The brain suffering from PTSD can confuse its own recollection of the traumatic event due to the fragmented memory .Without an accurate memory to stabilize yourself , it can be difficult to react in a rational, proportionate manner to events, both past and present. You may over-react to certain situations and triggers, or experience disassociation -a sense of detachment from reality
With TF-CBT we would be carefully recalling the trauma events in as much detail as possible this allows you to correct this disruption in your thoughts and regain control and be able to process the traumatic event.
Reclaiming your life in CBT is an important part of the Therapy as often with Trauma you will notice a reduction in the things you used to enjoy as the Traumatic event will be taking over your life and affecting others around you.
Carrie and Kim from BraintrainersUK.co.uk have over 20 years each of Mental Health experience: Therapists are accredited through BABCP
We have prepared these information sheets they will open as PDF documents
Kim and Carrie
+44 (0) 7510 223561 – +44(0) 07549 857216
Covering London & the South East in Person and UK & Europe via Online Services
We cover businesses and organisations across London & the South East. Individual therapy online or face to face all while still providing support for our front-line services working as NHS Mental Health Professionals & the chosen provider for South East Coast Ambulance Service ( SECAMB )
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