Posted: November 26th, 2013
PTSD AND TBI EFFECTS
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder, which usually affects people due to experiencing certain events, through seeing them, being involved in them or cleaning up the pieces after the event has happened. Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect somebody immediately or can take six months incubation. The disease can heal in three months at least but mostly takes many years. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of brain injury, which occurs when a person has been injured on the head by an external object causing internal injury to the brain other than the skull (Tanielian, 2008). Traumatic brain can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. The post-traumatic stress disorder can affect any person of any age, the young, and the old. In America, both post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury have continually affected veterans and their families in many different ways.
In both cases, where a veteran has the symptoms, the veteran might exhibit several behavioral changes, which might affect his family. The first behavior the veteran might exhibit is the behavior of avoidance. He will tend to avoid his family at all times. He would not want to spend time with his family or solve any problem, which might occur in the family. On the other hand, if this veteran were not affected by Post-traumatic stress disorder he would have been a better father. However, it can be argued from another point of view where the veteran cannot always blame their mistakes to post-traumatic stress disorder and yet they are not affected by it. Veterans have put their families into a lot of trouble because of avoiding them. This is not always because of post-traumatic stress disorder it can be because of other things, as he might not love his family anymore hence avoiding them.
The second behavior, which might be noted in the veterans, is violence. In his normal behavior, he might not be a violent man, but due to posttraumatic stress disorder, he might start becoming violent towards his family. The veteran might start beating his wife at any instant they have an argument leading to both medical and emotional effects to his family. This can affect the family severely because it can lead to a divorce (Press TV, 2011). Statistics shows, if a boy watches his father beating his mother, he might eventually end up beating his wife and becoming violent towards his family when he grows up. However, post-traumatic stress disorder is not always the cause of violence in a person. If the government of any other person detected this earlier, it could be very different and these effects could not be experienced.
Another behavioral change is the use of drugs by the veteran. Most of the veterans usually end up using alcohol. They change and become alcoholics due to the post-traumatic stress disorder. This is because they usually want to forget the events, which they experienced or saw during their time of service in the war. Consequently, this will affect their family in very many ways. First, the family finances will all be spent on the alcohol, which can lead to bankruptcy due to depts. In addition, it will become difficult for him to maintain his family since he does not have any money because the little money that he gets usually goes to alcohol instead of supporting his family. Therefore, the family becomes poor and looses all its assets. This can also lead to family break ups or divorce leading to children staying without one parent. Therefore, the families are advised to seek medical therapy (Shapira, Kaslow & Maxfield, 2007).
Alcoholism, due to post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury can also lead to neglect by the veteran who is affected towards his family members. The veteran, due to stress caused by these experiences, can start neglecting his family. He may no longer want to see his wife or his children because he is trying to avoid more stress related issues, which will add to the already existing ones. This kind of neglect will affect the family psychologically knowing that they have lost a husband and a father who does not love them anymore. The children might start becoming depressed knowing that their father is a loser and a failure, both to them and to the society. Lastly, alcoholic people tend to become abusive. Since both the post-traumatic stress disorders and traumatic brain injury have brought about alcoholism, this leads to effects that affect the family and the veteran due to alcohol. Therefore, the veteran becomes abusive out of no reason towards his family.
Another cause that usually affects patient with post-traumatic stress disorder is depression. After the veteran has recovered from alcoholism, what usually follows is depression. This is because the veteran was trying to avoid his problems using alcohol. Since he the veteran does not use alcohol anymore, problems tend to crop up. He is usually stressed and finally it leads to depression. If the problem is not properly checked, it can lead to suicide. This can affect both the veteran and their families immediately therefore, immediate provision of medical attention required.
On the other hand, it is not always true that the alcoholism is caused by post-traumatic stress disorder; it can be caused by other may it is in the course of fun or other activity. Therefore, it is worth noting that alcoholics who have post-traumatic stress disorders are usually depressed, abusive and violent. It is advisable to check for the symptoms before the veteran is wrongly diagnosed and yet he simply trying to have fun with his friends or colleagues in the workforce. Additionally the government is advised to help the veterans by reducing these uncertainties.
The post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to the veteran re-enacting the experiences, which he experienced at the time of war. This can affect the family because they will start becoming scared since they do not know what will happen next and when this re-enactment will happen. For instance, in the case of Corporal Brown, when he went to Iraq, he was a very normal person but after he comes back, he started reenacting his events in Iraq (National center for PTSD, 2010). He could look for exits everywhere he went and sitting down for dinner with his family was very difficult for him. In the course of his reenactment, the soldier might hurt himself or other people. In some cases, it can lead to death. All this could be avoided if the government or the spouses took the necessary measures so that they could avoid the effects, which are very adverse on both the veteran and their families.
The post-traumatic stress disorder can also affect the soldier in terms of health. They can have memory lapses. This is where they lose their memory in different occasions. This can be very dangerous because they can forget something important. A very good example is they can have a black out when they are driving due to memory loss and they can forget they are driving therefore, causing an accident. Another medical ailment they can get is that they can become mentally ill or in other words, they can become insane (Brunt, 2011). This might even affect the family psychologically. The thought of living with somebody who is insane and at one time his was very normal can affect a family psychologically. The children can be affected emotionally since they cannot believe that their father who was very normal has become insane. In addition, the veteran who is affected might become ill from the injuries, which he might have inflicted on himself in the time of a reenactment.
In conclusion, the veterans and their families themselves are advised to seek medical help after they have come back home from the wars. These will ensure that they are not affected by either post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. On the other hand, the government should be able to provide these services for the soldiers immediately after the war or even during the war. This should be done after a very horrifying experience and psychiatrist should be made available to this veterans. Additionally, if the veteran happens to be injured on the head he should be given early medical attention to prevent traumatic brain injury from happening (Walter, 2007). Therefore, the government should be involved in this exercise to prevent the adverse effects, which will affect the veterans and their families. By doing this the government will be able to contain the adverse effects that come up with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Brunt, C. (2011). Family of NM soldiers who died of prescribed drugs hope to raise awareness. Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved from http://www.abqjournal.com
National center for PTSD (2010). Effects of PTSD on Family. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/effects-ptsd-family.asp
Press TV (2011). Quick Facts: Mental health status of US troops. Retrieved from http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/168554.html
Shapira, F., Kaslow F. W & Maxfield, L. (2007). Handbook of EMDR and family therapy processes. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons
Tanielian, T. L. (2008). Invisible wounds of war: psychological and cognitive injuries, their consequences, and services to assist recovery. New York, NY: Rand Corporation.
Walters, D. J., & P3 (Charity). (2007). After the Falklands: Finally overcoming the nightmare of PTSD. Penryn: Ecademy.
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