PTSD is an important medical condition that many people do not know about. PTSD stands for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is defined as a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. PTSD was added as a mental health condition in 1980 by American Psychiatric Association. Many of the conditions come after a person has been exposed to war. PTSD is not very common. About 7.8% of Americans will be effected by PTSD. A surprising percentage of that is women are about double as likely to suffer from PTSD as men. About 30% of men and women that see combat will suffer from PTSD.
PTSD has symptoms such as reliving an event. It’s like having a flashback but the person is experiencing the situation again. People may suffer from nightmares. These nightmares or flashback could happen after a loud bang. Smell, sound, and sight of something that makes the person relive the event is called a trigger. Another symptom is trying to forget the event ever happened. When suffering from PTSD a person could start acting very negative. These negatives could be seen in religious changes and or feelings toward things. PTSD normally starts right after an event has happened. At four weeks doctors can diagnoses with these symptoms. PTSD is a mental condition just like depression. Treatment has been developed to help treat the condition. PTSD treatment requires a good support system for the patient. Along, with the support system the patient meets with a therapist. Like in the book A Long Way Gone there is recovery centers for patients to overcome PTSD. A place in Tennessee uses a ranch to work with people that have suffered PTSD. PTSD also has many medications to help with the symptoms. Medications such as; citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline. These medications effect the chemical release in the brain.
In chapter 17 of A Long Way Gone Ishmael is beginning his treatment of PTSD. Ishmael stuffers from bad dreams, and also has triggers. The nurse that Ishmael meets acts as his support system. At the end of the chapter Ishmael begins to open up and understand he has a problem. Children soldiers are more likely to suffer from PTSD than adults. About 55% of children exposed to war will suffer from PTSD. An estimate of 300,000 child soldiers are in the world. That means over 150,000 will suffer from PTSD. Child soldiers are not just used for war. There are reported children soldiers involved with gang activity around the world. Groups like International Rescue Committee are trying to stop children soldiers. PTSD is a true medical condition that changes lives every day.
This photo is of a child soldier in Africa going through therapy for his PTSD.