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Cause and effect is an unfortunate process — with tragic situations forever breeding tragic consequences. The dangers of war are understood by all, recognized as a collection of bullets, blood and bravery. The aftermath, however, is too often ignored: assumed to be nothing but relief, with soldiers freed from their duties and able to return home.
Such simplicity doesn’t exist, however. Instead many individuals find themselves suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (more commonly called PTSD). This prolonged feeling of anxiety dominates the military; and understanding it is essential for families who wish to relieve the symptoms of returning veterans.
PTSD, as its name implies, is an acute illness that steals an individual’s ability to cope with normal life. High levels of stress define it — with a patient experiencing insomnia, mood swings, exhaustion, nightmares and even paranoia. Extreme physical changes are common (with excessive weight loss being the most recognizable). Hyper-vigilance is also a symptom and often results in inappropriate responses, such as physical or verbal attacks.
The causes of PTSD are many but all are understood to stem from a traumatic event — the most common of these being war. Military personnel are the most deeply affected by this disease, and it often snatches away their chances of achieving normal lives.
It’s essential that family members monitor soldiers carefully: noting any potential symptoms and quickly asking for treatment. The only way to battle this disorder is to acknowledge it — and individuals must be willing to seek out any possible signs before they’re allowed to grow.