What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety response following a traumatic event (e.g., car accident, assault, war) which is outside the range of usual human experience. The event causes intense fear and/or helplessness in an individual. Typically the symptoms develop shortly after the event but may take years to surface (i.e., delayed-onset). Further, the symptoms may last from 1 month to decades. Symptoms include:
• flashbacks and nightmares
• difficulty concentrating
• difficulty falling and/or staying asleep
• difficulty establishing relationships
• difficulty integrating into a family unit
• heightened arousal (hypervigilance)
PTSD and the Military
While the military recognizes PTSD as a valid condition experienced by many service men and women upon returning from war, a stigma still exists upon being diagnosed. Soldiers with PTSD are seen as weak, broken, and/or unable to perform their duties; thus, many are removed from duty rather than given effective treatment so they may continue to serve their country.
It is estimated that nearly 40% of veterans currently returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD. Most mental health professionals believe this is a gross under-estimate since most service personnel do not report symptoms of PTSD for fear it will have a negative affect on their career and any treatment would be part of their permanent military record. Or, at its worst, they would be discharged from service. Thus, a more realistic estimate is that nearly 70% of veterans suffer from PTSD. This is especially important given that 60,000+ military personnel will be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Until recently, PTSD has been largely ignored by the medical and military community. We believe the VA now does a great job in treating veterans with PTSD; however, they are somewhat limited and dependent upon funding from congress. As a result, the VA is overloaded with those seeking healthcare, so the wait time to receive care can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (depending on your location).
Worthy Warriors’ personalized and professional service offers much needed hope to those afflicted with PTSD with a promising prospect of long-lasting treatment outcomes and a goal to diminish the stigma the military associates with PTSD. To date, no other treatment program utilizes a multifaceted approach like Worthy Warriors’ integrated 4-tiered method.
However, with greater attention now being given to PTSD, studies show that alternative treatments are having great results. Specfically, studies show that neurofeedback treatment aids in significantly reducing PTSD symptoms. In using neurofeedback, 75% of active-duty Marines in the Camp Pendleton Study, have shown significant recovery from PTSD symptoms, and 80% have experienced significant relief specifically from depression.
Complications Arising From PTSD
As if the symptoms of PTSD aren't enough with which to cope, various complications often develop in people with chronic PTSD and delayed-onset PTSD. These include the following:
• Alcohol and drug abuse or dependence
• Chronic anxiety
• Increased risk for suicide
• Divorce and separation
• Low self-esteem
• Panic attacks
• Prolonged or recurrent unemployment
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