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Weldon 1 Clint Weldon 040500 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Echoes of War Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder The term can be defined simply as a normal reaction to an abnormal situation Olson Gail A and Robbins 8 A more in-depth definition would be the development of characteristic symptoms following a psychologically distressing event outside the range of usual human experience Dicks 2 Of the seven hundred and fifty thousand heavy combat veterans from Vietnam alive today two hundred and fifty thousand suffer from PTSD The impact on the lives of these veterans and on the lives of those close to them is very powerful and often permanent Many veterans are unable to function normally in the civilian world following their experiences during the Vietnam War They have difficulty maintaining relationships and socializing with others Many are unsure of their civilian role in society This paper will explore some of the most pronounced symptoms of PTSD as it relates to Vietnam Veterans as well as elaborate on how those symptoms affect their interaction with others Military service in wartime takes the soldier from a familiar environment deprives him of many of his accustomed social and sexual pleasures projects him into a world where his civilian status counts for little and finally may force him to risk his life Holmes 108 According to most scholars in the field of Psychology and Weldon 2 Psychiatry Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be caused by any highly stressful experience from a car accident to a mugging to the experience of violent combat Symptoms of PTSD may not surface for months or even years When they do they range from cold sweats to flashbacks that submerge the victim in a world of past experiences in which the faces of familiar people are replaced by images of comrades long since dead or of enemy soldiers These horrifying experiences can surface at any time under any circumstances Though there are treatments for PTSD
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