What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an emotional illness that is classified as an anxiety disorder. PTSD is the result of a psychological trauma and usually develops as a result of one or more frightening, life-threatening, or otherwise highly unsafe and dangerous experiences. PTSD sufferers frequently re-experience the traumatic event(s) in which they were involved in or were in close proximity of. PTSD prohibits the transference of those particular memories to the "long-term memory", where they are not forgotten but no longer influence day-to-day living.
The prime PTSD symptom is that traumatic memories linger in the "active memory" and PTSD sufferers are often overwhelmed by those memories and tend to avoid places, social situations, people, or other things that remind them of the event (avoidance). PTSD sufferers are often highly sensitive to normal life experiences (hyperarousal).
Although forms of PTSD have existed since human beings have endured trauma, PTSD has only been formally diagnosed since 1980. It was called by different names as early as the American Civil War, when combat veterans were referred to as suffering from "soldier's heart". In World War I, symptoms that were generally consistent with what we now call PTSD were referred to as "combat fatigue." Soldiers who developed such symptoms during World War II were said to be suffering from "gross stress reaction," and many troops in Vietnam who had similar symptoms were assessed as having "post-Vietnam syndrome." PTSD has also been called "battle fatigue" and "shell shock."
PTSD and the military in the UK
UK military operations in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan have lead to a significant number of PTSD sufferers, Figures suggest that 1 in 5 soldiers could be suffering from long term PTSD symptoms. In addition, Falklands and Gulf War I veterans still have many PTSD sufferers among them. The suicide rate among both veterans and among troops on active duty is still way too high and large numbers of military personnel require immediate help and treatment after which they can lead normal lives again. MindMinder offers such treatment at short notice.