Combat related health issues are concerns that cannot and should not be ignored. While these are not complaints that only servicemen and women are ‘confronted with’, when returning home from deployment, they are also not always injuries to the physical body of the combat personnel. Many servicemen and women bringing home non-visual injuries.
Mental injuries and trauma are frequently ignored, by the sufferer, the care-provider and the society that army personnel returns to when coming home. Very often these complaints are also misinterpreted. Yet health issues such as anxiety and trauma disorders are increasingly becoming more prevalent. To date these complaints are insufficiently acknowledged, managed and treated.
PTSD, post-traumatic-stress-disorder, is the trauma issue that may evolve from the exposure to experiences of warfare, combat or terror. PTSD was first exhibited in Vietnam -War – veterans, but was only acknowledged and classified by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder in 1980. Increasing numbers of military personnel exhibit symptoms associated with their experiences during deployment to war zones and engagement during battle.
These are not occasional states of anxiety, but mental conditions defined by distress that prevents people from living a normal life. Characteristic for these types of anxiety and trauma disorders are persistent, overwhelming states of worry and fear. These phases can be disabling, and may appear unmanageable. Panic, phobias, compulsion, and depression may combine, leaving the individual unable to lead a normal life.
Conventional medicine uses medicinal and psychoanalytical approaches to assist individuals suffering of PTSD. However, ever increasingly holistic and complementary therapies are being used by patients to alleviate the symptoms of trauma syndromes. There is little research into the effects of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) treatments for PTSD, but experiential reports offer promising testimonials of effectiveness.
The CAM therapies are holistic therapeutic approaches that consider the totality of patients, taking into account the physical, mental and emotional plane of patients, thereby achieving amelioration, and recovery of the individual as a whole.