Critical Reading — Entendu

PTSD has inflicted Brannan Vines for years even though she has not directly experienced a traumatic event.  After her husband came back from the Middle-East with the mental disorder.  PTSD is known to affect veterans of war, but there is still so many unknowns about the disease.  Brannan could be experiencing PTSD symptoms because she has been watching a loved deal with it for so long.  The trauma the victim feel could make a close loved one feel sympathetic every time something happens.  They can be so close that she can be experiencing it with him.

PTSD only tortures some trauma victims, but others who experience the same trauma don’t feel the same effects.  Some people have healthier brains or are more desensitized than others.  There is a correlation between physical trauma on the brain and emotional trauma.  This is a big deal in boxing and the NFL, people with multiple concussions end up with mental disorders, not necessarily PTSD, but things like depression which eventually cost them their lives.  I am not saying that playing a sport with head injuries is anything like being a vet and being blasted through a metal fence head first, but that these head injuries can leave someone more susceptible to mental disorders.

The problem Caleb has is not something new, but something as old as war itself.  It was only recently that PTSD could be diagnosed.  It was always named something else that was not really a diagnosis.  This could be because of how complex the brain and other mental disorders can be.  Back in ancient war times they just said “they were unwilling to encounter danger” which could have definitely been PTSD.  Back then there was barely any knowledge on mental disabilities.  Since they did not see anything physically wrong, they might have just been a coward.

“Kids in the Congo and Uganda don’t have PTSD” is a very subtly brutal statement.  It basically says that those kids are braver than Caleb.  The problem is this statement is completely flawed.  There are kids in the Congo and Uganda I’m sure would develop PTSD, but there is the problem, it takes time to develop and there are not many people to diagnose a mental disease in a child army located in an impoverished country.  There are many reasons why children would have PTSD and even more reasons why people would not know anything about them having it.  This is a very sad subject to insult someone with as well.  I just want to add that anyone who said this to a veteran is ignorant and vile.

The rate of soldiers with PTSD rises with the amount of tours they have done and combat they have seen.  This is a clear correlation that definitely makes sense.  The amount of combat a soldier has seen increases the amount of traumatic experiences they have the possibility of encountering.  This also opens a longer amount of time for injuries to occur to a veteran, especially head injuries.  The more injuries and traumatic event make for a higher chance of PTSD.

Secondary traumatic stress among spouses has been documented.  It is not a documented illness but I imagine it could be discovered soon.  It is none that some people closely related or counseling someone with PTSD can feel “compassion fatigue.”  This can happen because of the empathy some people have.  If someone cares enough they tend to feel bad for someone suffering and bear some of it themselves for their loved one.  Empathy can closely be related to developing PTSD in loved ones and is the reason some say PTSD to be contagious.

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