The prevalence of PTSD in military personnel has increased over the years in that according to Rosenheck and Fontana (2007) the number of veterans reporting PTSD between 1999 and 2004 grew from 120,265 to 215,871 (a 79.5% increase) (as cited in Sharpless & Barber, 2011). In another study that examined the prevalence of PTSD increased four to to seven times between the years of 2002 to 2008 after the conflict in Iraq (289,328-300,000 veterans with 39.9% being diagnosed with a mental health diagnosis and 21.8% of those being diagnosed with PTSD) (Sabella, 2012; McGrane, 2011). McGrane (2011) also references that in April 2008, 18.5% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD and there are 300,000 soldiers deployed who suffer from PTSD with a comorbidity of depression or anxiety but are more often than not, go undiagnosed or treated before being sent on another deployment (Elhai, Contractor, Tamburrino, Fine, Cohen, Shirley, Chan, Liberzon, Calabrese, and Galea, 2015). Without debate, the more time spent in combat, the higher risk of PTSD and research found that
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis in Regards to Military Personnel 7 veterans younger than age 25 had high rates of PTSD and other comorbidities such as substance abuse compared to veterans older than age 40 (Sabella, 2012). Treatment options The most common treatment for PTSD, in particularly military personnel, is first completing the “PTSD Checklist (PLC-M) or the Primary Care-PTSD screen (PC-PTSD). The PLC assess the 17 PTSD DSM-IV symptoms using 17 self-reported items, in which each item is scored on a Likert scale (0-not at all and 5-extremely). The possible scores could range from 0 and 68. The PC-PTSD is a four-item screen that has been mandated by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to be used during post-deployment health assessments and by the Veterans Health Administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be used during routine primary care visits” (Tiet et al., 2013, p.135). The PC-PTSD are dichotomous (yes/no) items to determine the presence of nightmares, avoidance, paranoia (being on guard), and emotional numbness that can have a total score from 0 to 4 (Tiet et al., 2013). After assessing the risk of a possible diagnosis for PTSD, there are multiple evidence based treatments available for the person who is diagnosed to utilize. The first type of treatment that has shown great promise when dealing with veterans suffering from PTSD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which helps a patient understand the traumatic event they experienced and identify the stress caused by it so the patient can replace the traumatic event with a less distressing thought. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) similar to CBT helps a patient understand the traumatic event and identify stressors but it also incorporates a self-blame and exposure therapy component where patients are instructed to write their traumatic event in detail and review them aloud.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis in Regards to Military Personnel 8 Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has also had successful
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- Spring '20
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Posttraumatic stress disorder