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PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Helping your Spouse Conquer Anxiety - A Wife's StoryJune of last year ushered in a substantial change that crippled my family’s unity. We no longer played together as a family. When my son had soccer games, there was an empty space next to me where my husband would normally sit.

Earlier that month my husband was a passenger in a car that struck and killed two people (one a child). The victims ran across the road without checking traffic.

At first my husband seemed fine. Then I would wake up in the middle of the night to discover his side of the bed vacant and cold. When his nightmares began, I would find him sitting at the kitchen table staring at the wall.
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Almost 40 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans receiving health care from VA hospitals have one or more mental disorders.

A new study, published in the July 16 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health, reported this and other shocking news about the mental health of our veterans of the Middle East wars.

The study’s principal author, Dr. Karen H. Seal, an assistant professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, had even more distressing news. She said:

When the definition is expanded to include diagnoses of mental health disorders or psychosocial behavioral problems such as homelessness, or both, 43 percent of these veterans received these diagnoses.

If previous history with Vietnam-era veterans is any guide, the burden of mental illness will follow these veterans for many years to come. The research reported on in this post seems to back this idea up.

The findings of the study and its implications are detailed under the following headings:

  • How the study was conducted?
  • What were the findings of the study?
  • The incidence of mental illness among veterans is accelerating
  • It can take years for Anxiety Disorders such as PTSD to develop
  • What are the implications of the study?

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What is daydreaming? What is escapism? And are these symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

These are questions set for me by Spark, one of the readers of this blog.

The words “escapism” and “daydreaming” have strong moral overtones, especially “escapism.” Our society, based on Puritanism, frowns on all things that can’t be termed “productive.” To waste time in escapism and daydreaming are looked down upon as “lazy” or “sinful,” whether the terms are used in a secular or religious sense.

What exactly is escapism? Is it always a bad thing? And similarly, daydreaming: Is it mere escapism? Does it provide something useful to humans? Is it laziness? What is the nature of the flashbacks experienced with PTSD? Are they a type of daydreaming, or just escapism?

These are the important issues explored in this post.

This is the first post of a series in which I answer readers’ questions. If you would like to ask a question, please feel free to leave your question in a comment or use the Contact tab to email me. I answer all questions, whether or not you agree to have it be the subject of a post. If you do agree, you will not be identified by name.

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