PTSD– Joseph Passalacqua

The theatre of war is something that no one wants to deal with.  Imagine witnessing people murdered right in front of you, having their life torn from them in gruesome and horrific ways that seem like they’re from a nightmare.  Soldiers must witness these terrible sights constantly while fighting for our country to prevent such awful acts from being spread throughout the world and onto our countries home soil.  But some of those soldiers return home only to see those sights on a daily basis. But their sightings of war are all inexistent. What they see is a flashback and memory of the hellish land they just came from. These soldiers are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD cripples veterans, changing their lives and personalities.  They live in constant fear, lashing out at anything from a pin drop to a faucet running.  Any small sounds or sign could trigger an episode causing a veteran to relive the events of war.  Families and friends of veterans need to adapt to their new personalities and be careful with every action they do around them.  The tension caused can ruin relationships and tear apart families.  Those who stick around their spouses make the choice to aid and assist their better half through anything they go through.  Some of these people are now claiming to have PTSD themselves. Being a mental disorder, this disease isn’t simply spread like an airborne virus by coughing or being in the same room.  Those who spend the a lot of time with the victims tend to have symptoms rub off on them without ever even entering war. They can have the same triggers and episodes as any other PTSD victim.  They begin to grow impatient, irritable, restless and anxious just as their spouses.  The trauma they faced didn’t have to come from war, but simply from being around someone who was in war. The spreading of the disease also rubs off on children of victims.

Many children tend to mimic and copy the actions of their guardians.  That’s how we as humans grow and adapt to the world from a very early age.  If a child witnesses their parents hiding behind a couch from the visions of war they see, they may act the same, because it seems natural.  If a victim is now extremely sensitive to light and must live in darkness, their children will adapt and do the same, as they see these actions as normal.  This can be seen as their own trauma.  It is a vicious cycle that can technically spread from generation to generation if left untreated.  With little support for those who have the stress disorder, yet no experience on the battle field, recovery seems nearly impossible.

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