Is PTSD a Death Sentence? (Explanation of a Psychologist)

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that people such as veterans develop after experiencing life-threating events or severe trauma. PTSD in soldiers of Iraq, Vietnam and the World War II, were majorly due to warzone-related stressors like witnessing the death of their colleagues, being ambushed, and severe wounds inflicted by explosives. People with PTSD usually seek help in hospitals and support groups, and these places present some likely scenarios to meet individuals with PTSD. PTSD intervention requires the collective effort of family, friends, and psychologists if notable changes were to be realized.


Community support groups provide people with PTSD a platform where they can share experiences, learn from others and help them connect with those with similar experiences. In addition to that, community-based clinics provide the needed therapy by telemental health or by referral to various community clinicians. As a psychologist, I should be prepared to provide social support, be a good listener, anticipate and help people with PTSD to manage triggers.

Sometimes it can be tough for PTSD patients to open up about their traumatic experiences; in such a scenario, we should not pressure our loved ones into talking. In fact, we should let them take the lead instead of always telling them what to do. Anyway, some given ptsd case of medical treatment and therapy is really successful but another demonstrates the sadness of failed mental recovery. Thus, its intervention should be conducted with due diligence.

Often people with severe PTSD tend to be suicidal especially when confronted with situations that they believe to be inescapable, intolerable, and interminable. For instance, the pain of losing a loved one is inevitable and can be so severe and prolonged to the extent of causing a neurobiological and psychological breakdown. More importantly, the pain can be unbearable that the client sees suicide as the only relief.

Further, there are numerous myths about suicide some of which I was not aware until the crisis intervention forum. For example, I did not know that discussing suicide with depressed people might give them the idea of committing suicide. I was not also aware that people who often threaten suicide do not do it and that the tendency to commit suicide can be inherited. These myths can stand in the way of assisting suicidal clients, and it is by disregarding them that the psychologist can identify those at risk and thus providing the necessary assistance. As can be seen, PTSD is a very sensitive issue.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and firefighters

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Did you know that not only soldiers but firefighters very usually have PTSD?

Mental health illness can only be cured through positive mindset, positive thinking, and one’s inner motivation and courage. In addition, the support from the dear ones, and proper medications from the psychologist will heal the inner traumas of depression.  And it seems that such things do not work out for the firefighters who are constantly facing with the issues of mental illness.

There is a need of proper Health Advocacy Program that will focus upon the needs and requirements of these people; they are constantly exposed to working in stress situations. Hence, they get affected with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Only providing medicines and recommending certain physical exercises will not solve the issue. There is a need to spread awareness through proper marketing campaign, which we shall discuss in this report.

Public Health Issue 

As per one of the latest research reports provided by the UN in 2012, it was found that the global expenditure for resolving fire emergencies has crossed the mark of $17 billion in annual expenditure. This report was presented in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Year Book of 2013.

It seems that these governments are focusing only upon fire-fighting strategies. Despite of this spending, the government is not providing proper support to the firefighters working in different challenging situations.

Also, due to recession firefighters are facing with several financial and healthcare issues. The government did not pay proper attention to their position; instead, it reduced the general spending and continued to spend more and more on other expenses. The US government has even failed to justify the policy objectives when it comes to give aid and assistance to the firefighters.

The firefighters need to be ready to face any situation as per instructions of the government. The firefighters are required to fight any threat of that nation in a given world. The government is not at all serious regarding the spending of huge amounts after these operations. This of course, is not a case of single firefighter belonging to US, is a case of several firefighters, who have been facing with the issues of mental illness.

As per one of the previous research studies, it is found that firefighters just withdraw them from the on-going life situations. The firefighters behave in such a way as if, they are not at all belonging to their respective families, but they are separate entities. They do not enjoy their family lives, and also in some way try to disturb the peace of their respective family. Hence, it becomes important to devise a policy with a complete set of objectives that will help these people to overcome their respective mental health issues.

Description of issue and proposed policy solution

Mental health issues are believed to be a group of diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV TR) classification system. The key underlying feature of this disorder in any given firefighter seems to be the disturbance in their mood. As per ICD 10, this classification is known as Mood Disorder. It was initially known as affective disorder, but it was then changed to mood disorder, since the condition of an individual refers to the longitudinal emotional state.

The initial term was framed by English psychiatrist Henry Maudsley, where he referred to the state of mind, state of condition, and state of behavior of the given African American individuals to the external expression.

There have been several sub-types of this mood disorder observed amongst the firefighters. The commonly found disorders included unipolar depression, major depression, and several other forms of mood disorder, wherein the given person was experiencing several depressive episodes. The depressive or the mood disorder turns into Major Depression Disorder when, the diagnosis determine successive and recurrent episodes of the depression in the given individual. Some of the firefighters were also found to be suffering from unipolar depression, as their mood was remaining at the bottom pole.

The major symptoms that are leading to such disorders include depression, stress disorder (PTSD), adjustment disorder, and alcohol abuse and dependence. The risk of committing suicide is greatly elevated for these active-duty firefighters since the mental health disorder takes time to get cured.

The firefighters cannot constantly digest the war trauma and the mental stress from the physical and mental health perspective. They will get tired and hence, want to end their lives. One of the recent reports released by the US government in 2013 mentioned that the suicide rates for the firefighters that are deployed is increasing.