History of PTSD
In the 1950’s, the American Psychiatric Association was the only mental health organization to give a diagnosis to a client or patient through its publication, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. This guidebook helped to diagnose Post Traumatic Stress Disorder before it was given an official title in 1980.
Throughout the Vietnam war, a diagnosis of PTSD in the psychiatry field was advanced through the women’s movement, genocide survivors, and research on natural disasters was contributed to the PTSD concept.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was developed as a mental health disorder. The definition described it as people who experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event, similar to fighting in a war, sexual harassment or a natural disaster.
50 years later, DSM is connected with healthcare, insurance and government organizations.
PTSD diagnosis benefited millions of people by:
- Permitting insurance coverage and disability payment
- Allowing further research to the cause
- Ensuring self-help for those diagnosed and those who study and treat the condition
PTSD Changes to Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI)
Former Vice Chief of Staff, Peter W. Chiarelli of the army advocated for the name PTSD to be changed to PTSI because the word disorder “has the connotation of being something that is a pre-existing problem that an individual has before they come into the Army and made the person seem weak.”
Children and teenagers can also develop PTSI if they lived through an event that caused them or someone they know to be killed or hurt. Other events like sexual and physical abuse, violent crimes, disasters like floods, school shootings, car crashes and fires can also cause PTSI. A friend’s suicide or seeing violence in the household can also contribute to the injury.
Children and teens who suffer from a severe trauma and watch their parents react to trauma have the highest levels of PTSI symptoms. The symptoms could be less serious if the child and teens have more family support. The children and teens who leave the trauma they experienced also have more of a chance to overcome their injuries.
PTSI in children and teens can be treated through cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychological first aid/crisis management, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and play therapy.
A Veteran who suffers from PTSI
Retired Iraq war veteran, Renee Martin is 28-years-old and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Injury after her deployment to Iraq. She watched her friend get striked by an improvised explosive device, during the war.
Martin explained having PTSI doesn’t make her feel normal, it’s almost like she has to keep repeating what she does to make sure it’s correct.
Having PTSI is one of the most annoying disabilities to have. My anxiety is always at an all-time high; I’m always on edge and nervous.
“Having PTSI is one of the most annoying disabilities to have. My anxiety is always at an all-time high; I’m always on edge and nervous. I over think everything and second, guess myself a lot,” said Martin.
She also said having three children and a husband adds stress on her.
Being supermom doesn’t require room for mistakes and she fears her anxiety will control how she acts as a mother when showing love and discipline.
Martin says she tried a variety of coping methods, but smoking marijuana helps to calm her nerves and slow down her thoughts.
Be resilient! Understand that you are bigger than those dreams and those long-lasting dreams!
Martin’s words of encouragement and advice for people with PTSI are “be resilient! Understand that you are bigger than those dreams and those long-lasting dreams!”
Martin also explained that she didn’t have any regrets, but says there should be more PTSI awareness and she has live to with this disease forever.
As a wife and a mom with PTSI, you live with concerns and doubts. It’s like having a constant anxiety that never goes away.
“As a wife and a mom with PTSI, you live with concerns and doubts. It’s like having a constant anxiety that never goes away. My mind is always busy.”
Having a high amount of family support is helpful, but her children do not understand the extremes of PTSI; however, her husband relates because he also suffers from PTSI.
Martin’s husband also suffered after the war and isn’t able to drive anymore because of the flashbacks he saw once he gets behind the wheel.
They are both hoping to receive help from a hospital so that small incidents won’t trigger their PTSI as much as it does now.
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
The Walter Reed Medical Center is one of the nation’s biggest military medical centers with nearly 7,100 thousand staff members. The goal of this center so serves military families, active duty soldiers, returning soldiers, veterans, and leaders. It is located on 113 hundred acres in Washington, D.C. helping over 150,000 thousand people from all military branches.