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“FROM THE TRAUMAS OF COMBAT,RAPE,AND ABUSE COME KNOWLEDGE” UNDERSTANDING P.T.S.D.

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Presentation on theme: "“FROM THE TRAUMAS OF COMBAT,RAPE,AND ABUSE COME KNOWLEDGE” UNDERSTANDING P.T.S.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 “FROM THE TRAUMAS OF COMBAT,RAPE,AND ABUSE COME KNOWLEDGE” UNDERSTANDING P.T.S.D.

2 Vietnam 1968 Williams AFB Arizona 1981 Guess Who?

3 Prescription For PTSD

4 UNDERSTANDING PTSD Rape and combat are thetwo traumas that have been studied the most. Rape and combat are the two traumas that have been studied the most. Seventy five percent of Americans have had at least one psychological trauma in their life. Seventy five percent of Americans have had at least one psychological trauma in their life. One in ten women and one in twenty men will have PTSD at one point in their life. This is because of the high instance of sexual assaults against women versus men. One in ten women and one in twenty men will have PTSD at one point in their life. This is because of the high instance of sexual assaults against women versus men. Rape PTSD is likely to be a lifelong disorder. The fact that PTSD from rape or sexual assault is so strong and lasting should not be a surprise. Rape PTSD is likely to be a lifelong disorder. The fact that PTSD from rape or sexual assault is so strong and lasting should not be a surprise.

5 UNDERSTANDING PTSD Rape is a very personal attack. It is almost always a surprise to the victim. It is a very humiliating event, so much so that most rapes are very under reported and never see the light of a statistic. Rape is a very personal attack. It is almost always a surprise to the victim. It is a very humiliating event, so much so that most rapes are very under reported and never see the light of a statistic. When rape occurs there is penetration of your personal space, of your actual body. It doesn’t get any more personal than that. When rape occurs there is penetration of your personal space, of your actual body. It doesn’t get any more personal than that. Trauma is more severe if it is intentional, unexpected and physically harmful or life threatening. While all combat veterans experience a life threatening situation, the fact that they are soldiers and know that this is part of the job can actually help their resistance to PTSD. They also share a bond with others in their same situation. Trauma is more severe if it is intentional, unexpected and physically harmful or life threatening. While all combat veterans experience a life threatening situation, the fact that they are soldiers and know that this is part of the job can actually help their resistance to PTSD. They also share a bond with others in their same situation.

6 UNDERSTANDING PTSD Rape is almost always a one-on-one event. You are basically by yourself in your trauma, and feel that no one can ever know or relate to what you endured. Rape is almost always a one-on-one event. You are basically by yourself in your trauma, and feel that no one can ever know or relate to what you endured. There is usually no one to “de-brief” with. There is usually no one to “de-brief” with. Two thirds of rape victims will get PTSD. Two thirds of rape victims will get PTSD. With rape, you relive it every time you have a sexual encounter, even if desired. The act, although different in nature, is similar, if only in the physical act itself. With rape, you relive it every time you have a sexual encounter, even if desired. The act, although different in nature, is similar, if only in the physical act itself. Difficult to avoid Difficult to avoid Natural disasters. Natural disasters.

7 “The only experts on PTSD are the Survivors among Us”

8 What Is PTSD? Generally, it is an anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical or emotional harm occurred or was threatened

9 What causes PTSD? Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, and military combat.

10 What is PTSD? PTSD is biologically and chemically related. PTSD is biologically and chemically related. It is not a thought-related disorder. It is not a thought-related disorder. F.M.R.I. (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and P.E.T. (position emission tomography) scans reveal that the brains of PTSD sufferers function differently than normal brains due to differing brain chemistry. F.M.R.I. (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and P.E.T. (position emission tomography) scans reveal that the brains of PTSD sufferers function differently than normal brains due to differing brain chemistry.

11 What Triggers PTSD? Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, and military combat.

12 What effect does it have on those around a PTSD sufferer? Family members or other individuals having prolonged exposure to PTSD victims can also develop what appears to be a form of PTSD It is often called “secondary PTSD” or “vicarious traumatic stress disorder,” V.T.S.D.

13 PTSD sufferers Are Most Generally Broken Into Three Groups Combat Veterans Combat Veterans Non-Combat Veterans Non-Combat Veterans Others Others These three category’s stem from treatment availability, not the illness itself.

14 Combat Veterans Survival instincts born through sheer terror. Survival instincts born through sheer terror. Survival instincts brought about by sensory images. Survival instincts brought about by sensory images. Survival instincts brought about by geographic location. Survival instincts brought about by geographic location. Veterans go from normal to an instant blind rage. Veterans go from normal to an instant blind rage. You do not think, argue, deliberate, negotiate, or discuss in a war. You do not think, argue, deliberate, negotiate, or discuss in a war. You must react because the distance between life and death is measured in milliseconds and fractions of inches. You must react because the distance between life and death is measured in milliseconds and fractions of inches.

15 Non-Combat Veterans For non-combat trauma veterans, response- provoking triggers are as varied as the traumas leading to the illness. For non-combat trauma veterans, response- provoking triggers are as varied as the traumas leading to the illness. A single trauma or long-term exposure to repeated extreme stress or trauma can cause PTSD A single trauma or long-term exposure to repeated extreme stress or trauma can cause PTSD Law enforcement, medical services, emergency responders, crisis management and graves registration are but a few examples. Law enforcement, medical services, emergency responders, crisis management and graves registration are but a few examples.

16 Others Psychiatrists have studied which groups are more at risk after a traumatic event. Having endured trauma in the past will more likely result in PTSD in you experience another trauma. Psychiatrists have studied which groups are more at risk after a traumatic event. Having endured trauma in the past will more likely result in PTSD in you experience another trauma. People who have a loved one with a major mental illness or those who have a major mental illness are more likely to develop PTSD. People who have a loved one with a major mental illness or those who have a major mental illness are more likely to develop PTSD. Being very young or very old increases your odds. This is because children haven’t developed coping skills to deal with trauma. The elderly may have lost those skills. Being very young or very old increases your odds. This is because children haven’t developed coping skills to deal with trauma. The elderly may have lost those skills. Victims of violent crimes, victims and witnesses to natural and unnatural traumatic events. Victims of violent crimes, victims and witnesses to natural and unnatural traumatic events. Victims of systematic and repeated emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. Victims of systematic and repeated emotional, sexual, or physical abuse.

17 What are the physical symptoms? Headaches Headaches Dizziness Dizziness Chest pain Chest pain Gastro-intestinal distress Gastro-intestinal distress Immune systems problems Immune systems problems Discomforts in other parts of the body are also common in people with PTSD Discomforts in other parts of the body are also common in people with PTSD Bodily stress and tension Bodily stress and tension Jumpiness Jumpiness Lack of concentration Lack of concentration

18 What are the emotional symptoms? Flashback episodes Flashback episodes Memories Memories Nightmares Nightmares Frightening (and intrusive) thoughts, especially when they are exposed to events or objects reminiscent of the trauma. Frightening (and intrusive) thoughts, especially when they are exposed to events or objects reminiscent of the trauma. Anniversaries of the event can also trigger symptoms. Anniversaries of the event can also trigger symptoms.

19 Emotional symptoms Emotional numbness Emotional numbness Severe sleep disturbances Severe sleep disturbances Depression Depression Anxiety and irritability Anxiety and irritability Outbursts of anger Outbursts of anger Feelings of intense guilt Feelings of intense guilt

20 Physical and emotional problems caused by PTSD. FEARS (such as crowds, closed spaces, etc.) FEARS (such as crowds, closed spaces, etc.) ANXIETY (such as restlessness, obsessive worries, etc) ANXIETY (such as restlessness, obsessive worries, etc) PANIC (such as fear of losing control, going crazy) PANIC (such as fear of losing control, going crazy) DEPRESSION (such as hopelessness, loss of interest, suicidal thoughts) DEPRESSION (such as hopelessness, loss of interest, suicidal thoughts) RAGE (in the form of intense violent emotions or actions) RAGE (in the form of intense violent emotions or actions) IRRITABILITY (such as feeling constantly annoyed, on edge, critical) IRRITABILITY (such as feeling constantly annoyed, on edge, critical) INABILITY TO RELAX (always on guard, everything is life or death, attack or crisis) INABILITY TO RELAX (always on guard, everything is life or death, attack or crisis) SHAME (feeling embarrassed, exposed, violated, like a misfit) GUILT (others should have lived, I should have died, etc.) ISOLATION (physically present/emotionally gone, talk to nobody) EMOTIONLESS (1000 yard stare, no feelings about anything) ALEINATION (I don’t fit in, don’t have anything in common with people other then vets like myself ) OVER-CONTROLLING ADDICTION (compulsive overuse of alcohol or drugs; addicted to danger; self medicating) TIME/SCHEDULING (difficulty doing or keeping a schedule)

21 Public Perception? The public perception of PTSD seems to be that it is a “relatively new” and mostly “mysterious” mental illness. Many people, (psychiatrists and psychologists included) doubt that it even exists. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the WWII (greatest generation) crowd, the question was, “what’s wrong with Uncle Ed?” The answer was “he was in the “Big War” and has “shell shock”, stay away from him!” For the Vietnam Era, the question was the same, the answer was, “he has Vietnam Syndrome, don’t go near him!” In Korea it was “Battle Fatigue”. In WWI it was “Soldiers Heart”. Every war had a name for it, the only thing that changes is the answer to the question, “What’s wrong with him/her?” Combat stress and war neurosis are two of the newer names for this age old disease. PTSD is like everything else in our world, if something may have an unpleasant, disturbing, or even dangerous impact upon us, we tend to avoid and ignore it! Since most of the unsettling symptoms of PTSD come about as a result of “reactions” to “triggers” in the environment, it’s easy to see why society prefers to let PTSD sufferers isolate themselves from us. It is easier for outsiders to ignore, than to acknowledge that PTSD is a “real” and serious disorder.

22 Many veterans ignore and deny that they suffer from symptoms of this disease. Many do so out of fear of being branded “crazy” or “mentally ill,” and out of fear of being viewed as “weak.” Denial is one of the many serious symptoms of P.T.S.D. and is detrimental to the health and welfare of the affected veterans.

23 The V.A. estimates there are 299,320 homeless veterans in America, on any given night. Of these statistics show that 98% are males, 45% suffer from mental illness, 68% plus have substance abuse problems, 47% served during the Vietnam era, and 1/3 of those were stationed in a war zone. The V.A. estimates there are 299,320 homeless veterans in America, on any given night. Of these statistics show that 98% are males, 45% suffer from mental illness, 68% plus have substance abuse problems, 47% served during the Vietnam era, and 1/3 of those were stationed in a war zone.

24 Twice as many Vietnam veterans met death at their own hands (suicide, suicide by cops, lone occupant single vehicle accidents, etc.) than are on the “Wall” in D.C.? Twice as many Vietnam veterans met death at their own hands (suicide, suicide by cops, lone occupant single vehicle accidents, etc.) than are on the “Wall” in D.C.?

25 67% of Vietnam veterans diagnosed with P.T.S.D. received their diagnosis after being released from prison or jail? 67% of Vietnam veterans diagnosed with P.T.S.D. received their diagnosis after being released from prison or jail?

26 According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 20% of veterans in prison are combat veterans.

27 30% were first-time offenders; and 70% had been working full time before their arrest. The VA predicts that 25% to 30% of all current war returnees will suffer from P.T.S.D. 30% were first-time offenders; and 70% had been working full time before their arrest. The VA predicts that 25% to 30% of all current war returnees will suffer from P.T.S.D.

28 The National Independent Budget for the V.A. reports that more than 460,000 veterans have a service-connected disability due to a mental illness.. Of great concern must be the estimated 117,000 veterans who are service- connected for psychosis and the more than 180,000 who are service-connected for post- traumatic stress disorder. In 2002, more than 750,000 veterans received mental health services from the V.A. The National Independent Budget for the V.A. reports that more than 460,000 veterans have a service-connected disability due to a mental illness.. Of great concern must be the estimated 117,000 veterans who are service- connected for psychosis and the more than 180,000 who are service-connected for post- traumatic stress disorder. In 2002, more than 750,000 veterans received mental health services from the V.A.

29 NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) is the largest national organization representing persons with serious brain disorders and their families. NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) is the largest national organization representing persons with serious brain disorders and their families.

30 NAMI maintains a membership of more than 220,000. Through their 1,200 chapters and affiliates in all 50 states, they support education, outreach, advocacy and research on behalf of persons with serious brain disorders. NAMI maintains a membership of more than 220,000. Through their 1,200 chapters and affiliates in all 50 states, they support education, outreach, advocacy and research on behalf of persons with serious brain disorders.

31 Currently, NAMI and similar organizations are actively seeking veteran’s organizations to join them in their fight against the stigma attached to mental illness, and their battle to secure fair and equal access and treatment for the mentally ill. Currently, NAMI and similar organizations are actively seeking veteran’s organizations to join them in their fight against the stigma attached to mental illness, and their battle to secure fair and equal access and treatment for the mentally ill.

32 Gerald LaFountain, Montana State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and member of the National NAMI Veterans Council and the National NAMI Veterans Committee Gerald LaFountain, Montana State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and member of the National NAMI Veterans Council and the National NAMI Veterans Committee

33 . Eileen White, National NAMI Board Member, member of the National NAMI Veterans Council, National trainer for I.O.O.V. (In Our Own Voice) and Chairperson, Mental Health Advisory Council of South Dakota.


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