A recent study shows PTSD going for 40 years in veterans from the Vietnam War. The complete defeat that this war represents in American history is a permanent scar in their minds. The fact that these soldiers, who were little more than children back then, were ignored by social services when they came back, of course didn’t help. Neither did the sheer horror which was present in a war completely misunderstood by proxy commanders half a world away.
Napalm ridden fields and forests, and the smell of death intermingling with that of smoke steady setting over the river. For many, this is a daily nightmare, going on and on, driving their minds to the brink of insanity, and their hearts to the heights of an emotion-induced pulse.
It appears time cannot heal a war. After all this time since the war was done, a recent study finds that many of the veterans still show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms like avoidance, re-experiencing, numbing, withdrawal, problems with arousal and emotional control, as well as survivor guilt and self-persecution.
The leader of the study, Dr. Charles Marmar says that the mounting health problems of current aging veterans are contributing to the aggravation and exacerbation of earlier diagnosed PTSD conditions. The greatest problem is declining the mental health exhibited by the elderly.
Marmar and his colleagues looked at 1,450 veterans who had been tested for PTSD in a previous study from the 1980s. Both tests looked at the quality of life dismayed by the veterans. This was done so as to clearly determine how the veterans dealt with social reintegration.
The results showed that 12 percent of all men veterans and 8.5 percent of women veterans who had or had not been in war zones, still experienced some form of PTSD. Of the ones that had been in war zones, 11 percent either showed some symptoms or full-blown PTSD. The percentage of PTSD diagnoses from the 1980s study was only slightly higher – 15%. This shows that in many cases, PTSD does not go away.
The greater purpose of the study was to confirm that even after many years of social reintegration, the veterans still had problems adapting to a normal life. The fact that the U.S. turned its back on the men and women who fought for their country so far away, under such horrid humanitarian circumstances is the bigger problem that prompted the stalling of these conditions.
Although many veterans did heal their traumas, those that did not were left permanently scarred. They have bigger need for mental health treatment now, since these problems only get worse with age.
Image source: foxnews.com
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