PTSD in Soldiers: A Mysterious but Real Problem

Is the PTSD in soldiers a real problem? It has been detected some years back that people working in high tension environment, physically as well as mentally, including military soldiers, policemen, emergency medical service providers etc. usually suffer from the problem of post-traumatic stress disorder popularly known as PTSD. In fact, soldiers on dangerous missions like in Afghanistan are fond more prone to PTSD in soldiers problem as they normally faced roadside bombs, enemy fire or ambush attacks.

It had been revealed through studies that PTSD in soldiers if usually found among almost a quarter of soldiers working in dangerous situations. Normally symptoms of this problem appear years after they had experienced danger on their work place or some times are manifested in the shape of severe depression, alcoholism, abnormal behavior and even suicides in some cases. The problem is supposed to be caused by an invisible war wound that affects the sufferers’ life as a missing limb effects but normally it is not recognized at proper time. The problem of PTSD was earlier labeled with some shameful names like lack of moral fiber, battle fatigue, shell shock and even cowardice.

The problem of PTSD in soldiers is now accepted as a medical problem and the soldiers who come out of dangerous situations without this problem feel relieved. These soldiers usually think that they are not affected with this mysterious problem but its danger in future can not be ruled out absolutely as its symptoms can occur at later stage. As nearly twenty Percent American soldiers who served in second Iraq war, thirty percent who attended Vietnam War and 10% who served in brief Desert Storm campaign are found to be afflicted with this problem. Researches on the causes and treatment of PTSD is and unending process till now.

The problem of PTSD if left untreated or undiagnosed may lead even to suicide. News of suicide committed by 38 US Army soldiers in near past is one of the examples of disastrous end due to the problem of PTSD in soldiers. Though the participants in volunteer army are screened for their physiological and emotional stability but still such horrible incidents occur among the soldiers returning from dangerous missions. The records show that more than 2600 American soldiers committed suicide since the beginning of Afghanistan war whereas only 2000 died during fight there. It has been reported that out of 187 US soldiers who committed suicide this year only 71 were in reserve forces whereas 116 who were on active duty are supposed to be suffering from the symptoms of PTSD.

Similarly records of Canadian army revealed that twelve soldiers who were on active duty in Afghanistan war committed suicide in 2010 which had risen to 20 in 2011 which were counted with the US military personnel committing suicide. These incidents occurred in Canada where every precaution is taken about the screening of emotional stability of the person volunteering themselves for these missions. Al these reports and facts reveal that PTSD in soldiers is really one of the mysterious problems for which research is still on to diagnose and treat it properly.