Military families are going through a difficult time other than leaving their loved one, but what happens when they do come back? My name is Eric, and I am a 9th grader going to Valley Stream North High School. I am aware that people in military families are going through some difficult times and I would like to inform you that this needs to be taken care of. One of the many issues military families are having is PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans suffer from PTSD, 10 percent from the Gulf War and 11 percent from Afghanistan (PTSD: A Growing Epidemic). Counseling for PTSD should focus on the individual but should also focus on their relationships with their family members and other loved ones in order to properly improve the individual's ability to function in society.
PTSD is a serious problem not just for the survivor but the family as well. Counseling for PTSD focuses only on the individual with the disorder and it helps, but research shows they are less likely to get better if their relationship with their loved ones are ignored. PTSD affects not only the survivor but the whole family.
Some people don't know how serious PTSD is and how hard it is to deal with. According to the National Center for PTSD website, “PTSD can make somebody hard to be with. Living with someone who is easily startled, has nightmares, and often avoids social situations can take a toll on the most caring family.” (PTSD:National Center For PTSD). PTSD takes a toll on every family member included and makes them feel like they don’t know how to help them. A result of PTSD it usually tied with suicide. Maia Szalavitz reveals, “PTSD has been particularly devastating for veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars — suicide, which is commonly linked with the disorder, is now killing more U.S. soldiers than combat itself” (Szalavitz 1). The fact that suicide is killing more U.S. soldiers than combat itself it outrageous and something needs to be done about this.
People don't know how military members with PTSD feel, they might not want to treat their PTSD, but why? The national Center for PTSD explains “The decision to get care for PTSD symptoms can be difficult...It is not uncommon for people with mental health conditions like PTSD to want to avoid talking about it” (“PTSD” 1 ) Within the military there is a stigma that states that if you have PTSD you are known as weak minded.
Everyday people with ptsd suffer greatly, “ A former soldier, when he finally sleeps, finds himself back on the dusty roads of Afghanistan. He awakes in a panic and struggles futilely to return to sleep. Days are hardly better. The rumble of garbage trucks shatters his nerves. Flashbacks come unexpectedly, at the whiff of certain cleaning chemicals. He is imprisoned in his own mind.” (PTSD)). I hope you realize that military families go through more than just missing their loved ones being deployed at war