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How PTSD Affects Combat Veterans Case Study

Related Topics: Psychology War Trauma Veterans

Pages:4 (1280 words)




Document Type:Case Study


Part 1– Case Analysis: Traumatization of Combat Veterans

Today, despite ongoing efforts by the health care community and policymakers to reverse the ugly trend, dozens of combat veterans take their own lives every day, and many of these victims suffered from various trauma-induced conditions including most especially post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the relevant literature concerning the effects of exposure to war on U.S. combat veterans. To this end, a discussion concerning the demographics for this population and the pervasiveness of the problem and an analysis concerning whether particular groups are more vulnerable than others are followed by an examination of factors of the trauma that are most influential in determining the severity of the symptoms. Finally, an assessment of the particular range of reactions to this type of trauma and a discussion concerning what communities and systems could be impacted and/or are already involved are followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning traumatized combat veterans in the conclusion.

What are the demographics for this population and/or how pervasive is the problem?

A growing body of evidence confirms that veterans have higher prevalence of PTSD-related disorders compared to the general population when matched for age and sex (Britvic & Anticevic, 2015). Likewise, the various injuries and traumatic episodes that are experienced by veterans have a significant effect on the prevalence of PSTD-related symptoms in veterans (Britvic & Anticevic, 2015). The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reports that the prevalence of PTSD among veteran in general differs depending on the period in which they served (Howley, 2019).

Although far more research in this area is needed, what is known for certain at present about the demographics of the veteran population and PTSD is as follows:

· About 11 to 20 out of every 100 veterans (or between 11 and 20%) who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year;

· About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year; and,

· About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam veterans (15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD when the most recent study of them (the National Vietnam Veteran Readjustment Study)…

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…communities and systems could be impacted and/or involved?

To its credit, the VA has long maintained a nationwide community-based network of more than 300 “Vet Centers” that are staffed with counselors with specialized training in treating PTSD and its related symptoms (Vet Centers, 2019). In addition, a number of online support groups have been formed in recent years to specifically help combat veterans and their families cope with the adverse effects of PTSD (Beks, 2016).


While most Americans appear to “support the troops” as evidenced by the proliferation of these bumper stickers across the country, the harsh reality that is facing millions of Americans today is the fact that many veterans in general and combat veterans in particular suffer from the debilitating effects of post traumatic stress disorder and some of them take their own lives as a result. Even for those combat veterans that manage to survive their post-discharge years, life can be incredibly difficult with respect to securing and maintaining gainful employment or actively participating in an intimate relationship. In the final analysis, it is reasonable to conclude that the real price of freedom can be seen in…

Sample Source(s) Used


Beks, T. (2016, April). Walking on eggshells: The lived experience of partners of veterans with PTSD. The Qualitative Report, 21(4), 645-651.

Britvic, D. & Anticevic, V. (2015, May 1). Comorbidities with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among combat veterans: 15 years postwar analysis. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 15(2), 81-85.

Howley, E. K. (2019, June 28). Statistics on PTSD in veterans. US News & World Report. Retrieved from

Pressley, J. & Spinazzola, J. (2015, Spring). Beyond survival: Application of a complex trauma treatment model in the Christian context. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 43(1), 8-12.

Sloan, D. M. & Bovin, M. J. (2012, May). Review of group treatment for PTSD. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 49(5), 689-695.

Vet Centers. (2019). Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.

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