Is PTSD the New Non-Epidemic Disease of those exiting the Military System?

Thursday 13th December 2018

We’re fairly-well-informed when it comes to heart disease and cancer related medical concerns, but should we now be as conversant about PTSD - the non-epidemic disease that’s hiding in full sight, for many people exiting the military system? 

There’s no denying that there’s always been a stigma around mental health. It’s been a taboo subject for decades, and not openly discussed within families or the community. Society simply swept the plight of those affected by mental or neurological disorders, under the carpet, and those individuals were forced to suffer in silence until they reached breaking point and eventually sectioned. 

The times they are a-changin’. Sufferers who were previously predisposed to feeling frightened, anxious or embarrassed to tackle a mental health disorder, are now speaking out. Furthermore, being medication free is now a realistic goal for those suffering from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as it’s now openly discussed. 

If we’re honest, most of us used to think that mental disorders were rare and happen to someone else. However, mental disorders such as PTSD are common and widespread, and there seems to be rising number of vulnerable people exiting the military, care home and prison systems suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

It seems that families and communities are still not totally prepared to cope with learning the signs that a loved-one, friend or parent is struggling with a mental illness, and that needs to change. PTSD can stem from mild to severe insecurities in thought or demeanour, and often results in an inability to cope with life, and it’s a mental health condition that affects 1 in every 3 people. 

“In World War One, they called it shell shock. Second time around, they called it battle fatigue. After 'Nam, it was post-traumatic stress disorder.” - Jan Karon, Home to Holly Springs 

“PTSD nightmares aren’t always exact replays of the event. Sometimes they reply the emotions you felt during the event, such as fear, helplessness, and sadness” - Alice Cariv 

Inside Connections – Samantha, Aug 2018

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