In this thesis we will look at the effects of PTSD not just as a whole but also the sub groups that are affected by it. We can examine some of the people that will be shown in the pictures throughout the thesis and their lives after war. We can then ask the question of what effects do you feel that PTSD has on you after leaving the service. For other groups and look at their time before, during and after a deployment. We can then examine the cumulative effects of their time in the combat zone. We can then examine statistical data showing degrees of severity from PTSD and treatments that will help offset and help cope with its effects.. Following this will also examine the social stereotypes and stigma of having been to war and returned to civilian life.
Being that males are the majority white bears of war in combat. It is typical to see some Effects of PTSD for those involved in direct combat. Looking at you can see that even though soldiers that come from war may not have been physically injured. They have unseen mental issues that linger long after the battlefield. This drawing of a soldier holding a mass in front of him represents the facade or image that he must uphold for others to believe and have confidence in him. Behind the mask he is suffering from the anxiety and experience that he has seen in his tour of duty.
The effects of PTSD for soldiers in the combat zone can vary in degrees. In some cases being very severe and others a slow onset and accumulation of problems that can affect those over the long term. Even after they leave the combat zone. The effects of what they have experience there has a huge impact on their lives afterwards. From the loved ones that they care of for. The relationship they have with their families and friends. Even still with all these many issues they must still hold up the image that everything is OK. Even volunteering to go back to the combat zone to have some sense of normalcy in the haze of being in a civilian world.
Looking at the video and photo above we understand that something has happened to the soldier in combat. A very traumatic event that caused him to break down and lose focus on the outside world and the happenings that are going on around him. We see that even after the events happen they still haunt him in his sleep. The pet dog wakes him from his nightmare and comfort him as he comes down from the nightmare itself. The overall argument of the video and photo shows that even after the battlefield people will experience flashbacks and memories of the perfect events that they witness there. Concluding the video they show that they are not alone in their suffering and there is help available for them.
After the battlefield people can become distant and easily agitated when they are affected by PTSD. In severe cases people become extremely violent. Other effects that are very subtle but have a great impact on them, is dealing with their sexuality and their sex life. It can become difficult for couples to continue their sexual relationships with each other because of PTSD. When it comes to sexual orientation. Lesbian and gay couples tend to find this even more difficult to deal with.
For gay couples in this picture above. They find it harder to connect with each other because of the effects of war. It is normal for those in combat to have a stronger bond with the members that serve next to them in war. When returning to civilian life, some find it hard to deal with the isolation from there military unit. Other side effects of combat can affect self-esteem, self value, and interest in others. Before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed by the US military. People in uniform could not avoid there relationships that were deemed unsuitable for the service. There was a great pressure to embody the American warrior in all aspects and not appear weak to others. This problem was even compounded more after Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed. Even as they served openly, they still had to embody the hyper masculinity of the military. This caused a great strain on those in uniform and on their relationships.
Suicide in the military has become the main battleground for the US Post war on terror. It is estimated that 22 veterans commit suicide every day and if you break that down that is about one every 65 minutes. Suicide and PTSD are commonly linked together with the various studies that have been conducted.
Many service members in the military have not been assigned to a direct combat jobs. The public mindset is that only those who are in combat roles can only have PTSD. This is called a gap in the perception of those that are assigned to combat support roles in general support. Combat support jobs in the military make up a large portion of the military. The public perception of them can be summed up as one thing attention in some cases. The truth is that many of them suffer alone and silently. This results in there condition worsening. The resulting effects can severely affect not only themselves but others that surround them as well.
The portrait above of two British soldiers is very striking to say the least. It illustrates before, during and after events of their service. As seen in the photos you can tell that their experience has affected them not only physically but mentally. The experiences that they have accumulated over the time of their deployment shows in their face and mental state. Being that modern militaries now have women in their services. Women have become exposed to the horror of war in uniform.
Women just like men can be affected by PTSD and are statistically at a higher risk of being sociable to it as well. Even with these numbers in mind, they still serve their country with honor and dignity. Suicide among women are lower than their male counterparts. Women are more likely to seek treatment for their PTSD the men sooner.
Race and PTSD are a hot topic within the civilian spear and the military. Minority serving in the military or a susceptible to PTSD as their Caucasian counterpart. This is also the same for both male and female as well. Like all modern militaries, minorities serve in all aspects of the military itself from the distance to combat roles. When it comes to a combat environment. Minorities are as greatly affected by the events in tragedies that happen anymore. The example in the photo above is a sergeant Nick Irving. He served with the 75th Ranger Regiment in the US military. His career stressed over multiple deployments through the mid-2000s and has been in multiple hot spots throughout the Middle East. After he left the military to pursue other path to success. He suffer from PTSD that had accumulated over his time in the Ranger Regiment. Isolation and guilt about would have happened to his friends and the events that unfolded during his time being deployed onto him deeply. Eventually he did seek help for his PTSD and continues treatment..
In conclusion of PTSD effects all that have it and the side effect can serious hurt those are affected by it if not treated. Many are susceptible to PTSD from the events that they have experienced. They are also able to be helped by those that care and love them. All of the photos and illustrations of people that were shown in this thesis have receive help from those that care about them. From third-party organizations and the military itself. It is important not to forget those that serve their country wherever they may be and they still matter to the people that they protect even after they leave the military.
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