The psychological wounds of war present a situation where individuals are often mimes forgotten, unaddressed, and underrepresented-especially those who are suffering from the postgraduates stress syndrome, they are also struggling with the transition back to normal life and work. Literature Review: EST. Defined. Examining the impact of military trauma on a veteran’s life remains in an infant stage with respect to knowing all that must garnered (Stutter, 1995). Accountability, sustainability, and treatment are far from being complete.
Not only do diagnostic and treatment paradigms need to be made available to those veterans who suffer from PITS, but a support system must be identified and structured to as well. Family and friends have to learn that they must be proactive in their understanding and support of the military veteran who have been diagnosed with PITS disorder. Notwithstanding the fact that people who have been in military combat and suffer from PITS, there has been reported a direct relationship between the disorder and negative physical health as well such as non-specific EACH abnormalities and theoretically defects and infarction’s. Jackson’s, 2004). Although not extensively researched there are indications that PITS is related to some gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal dysfunctions as well. However, the psychological factors resulting from PITS has been researched more extensively and several treatments modalities have been used. These treatment methods include, but not limited to, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodrama therapy, group therapy, spectrographically therapy, as well as several experimental approaches utilizing seniority and Asian approaches. Dietrich, et al, 2000). Regardless of the treatment program employed to treat people with PITS all must concentrate of the protective factors surrounding the veteran, namely, the individual his or herself, the family, and friends or peers. As stated in Chapter 1 of Comers book entitled Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology (2005), the road to better mental health for individuals suffering from any abnormal disorder rests with the community-based interventions and short-term therapy.
With respect to the PITS veteran what is at stake is to increase self-esteem, self-efficacy and those skills needed to cope with stress brought about by PITS via therapeutic intervention that is community related (support) and short-term goal oriented. The therapies generally used, according to Comer (Chapter 5) are usually multi-modal to include a combination of medication, psychotherapy, ND cognitive-behavioral intervention. As said earlier some Asian and sensory-motor therapies are used as well.
In order to accomplish this goal the individual must attempt to reestablish bonds of trust with family members, increase communication abilities, and begin to strengthen ties with peers and friends in pro-social activities and those involving the re-establishment trust and intimacy. Without a great deal of attention given to these protective features the risk factors for continued or strengthening of EST. is greatly increased. Those risk factors include, but are not limited to, continued excessive and realistic fears, social isolationism, family conflict, avoiding coping style, and interpersonal discord.
Whether or not an untreated stress disorder can and will lead to a more debilitating disorder such as schizophrenia (Chapter 12) has not been researched to the point wherein definite conclusions can be drawn. As such those individuals who have been diagnosed as PITS patients, but not treated, with respect to military combat service need to be re-evaluated to determine the possibility of having a much more serious disorder. As PITS is a relatively new diagnostic category for the
American Psychiatric Association, and for all those involved the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder, a great deal more investigative research must be conducted to determine its long-term effects on the individual, on society, and even on the country political and economic balance. What is the alarming fact that knowing EST. does indeed exist the research annals are void of cited programs used to prevent PITS in military, or any other high risk occupation. It is one thing to diagnose and treat a disorder, yet another to install preventative measures to deal with situations that can lead to PITS.
In edition, a literature review failed to locate any supportive materials as to how the government will deal with those returned military service people who will capitulate, involuntarily to PITS. What is desperately needed is a before and after military service program that focuses on strategies to assist military personnel to adjust to a new environment (I. E. Combat) as well as to re-adjust to a returning home environment. Such programs would have the crux of their efforts facilitative and proactive approaches that assist the person with a range of personal and relationship issues.
In addition for those military response re-locating to foreign bases should be involved in multicultural professional workshops and culturally sensitive caregivers should contact these workshops and preventative treatment programs. This is especially true for those people who are now serving in Iraq and other combat active regions. From involvement in Vietnam some 30 years ago our society has fallen short in supporting those who risk their lives for our nation’s well-being.
Attempting to shed light on a disorder that has political, psychological, and sociological components is not an easy task. Isolating each area is arduous hen attempting to look at only one Of the aforementioned variables with reference to PITS in veterans-male and female alike. There is even research to suggest that PITS is a very real veteran disorder, all efforts should ensure to treat not only those who have served their country but plan and implement strategic initiatives on a preventative basis.
For those individuals serving in Iraq the need for mental health support before entering the combat theater and while in combat is a move we cannot afford not to take. A war that has touted to be over in a few months has now dragged on for overall years and longer. As a result the cultural sensitivity initiatives before and after entering a foreign country must somehow be integrated into the war theater on a preemptive move. In other words, plan now or pay later.
These EST. veterans also have to learn how to live back in society and handle work day to day. With only about half of veterans suffering from PITS seeking treatment (Tangential & Jaycee, n. D. ), transitioning back to everyday life can be difficult for returning soldiers in a variety of ways, including the workforce. There are a multitude of conditions that can arise from PITS that make rotational employment more difficult for a veteran suffering from PITS.
Researchers name some of the issues as memory loss, lack of concentration, stress (which can incorporate or be separate from panic attacks, flashbacks and emotional extremes), and inability to work well with supervisors or coworkers, and sensitivity to sounds and lights that can result in physical distress such as headaches (Babble 2012). All of these present challenges for employers, but can be managed as veterans look to adjust to a more traditional civilian life and work on managing their PITS symptoms with treatment.
Memory loss is one of the main effects associated with PITS. Perhaps one of the key problems with this as it relates to traditional employment is that PITS does not only impact long-term memory, but can have an effect on a patient’s day-to-day life. Researchers have found that memory loss’ “effects on daily functioning and treatment are of primary concern… And reduce the resources available to PITS patients when coping with life’s demands” (Samuelsson, 2011, p. 351 ). This can impact employees from the moment they are hired throughout the duration of their employment.
Veterans suffering from PITS may struggle with training, as numbering what they have just learned may prove difficult, and may also have trouble in meetings, remembering tasks and assignments, and how to use equipment they are unfamiliar with. There are suggestions for employers on how to make such complications easier on the workers, including budgeting for more training, writing minutes from or tape recording meetings, posting written directions for complicated equipment and providing the employee with a task list that can be checked off.
Much like memory loss, a lack of concentration can be extremely challenging for both an employer and the worker. A study out of Yale University found people who buffer from PITS tend to forget instructions even after hearing them multiple times, and typically are forgetful about where they have placed their possessions (Brenner, 2000). This can interfere with workplace tasks, especially in busy offices with potential distractions. To help combat the effects of lack of concentration for veterans with PITS, America’s Heroes at Work, a division of the U. S.
Department of Labor, suggests employers should aim to reduce as many possible distractions near the employee, by allowing sound machines or music, changing the lighting or creating a private workspace to keep the individual on task. While memory loss and lack of concentration are relatively similar in terms of their effects on veterans with PITS, there are several other symptoms that may be more difficult to help manage as an employer. Patients tend to suffer from stress as a result of p T SD, which can include flashbacks to the traumatic event or events that triggered the disorder.
Researchers argue that six major factors can help veterans overcome, or at the very least manage, stress associated with the effects of PITS: practicing altruism, having a positive outlook, maintaining an active coping lifestyle, getting exercise, seeking support from friends and Emily, and being flexible in responses to negative situations (Hoagland, Cooper, Southwest, & Charley, 2007). Veterans suffering from PITS-induced stress may struggle as unforeseen daily problems arise on the job and could have a difficult time as new responsibilities are added.
Stress could also play a role in absenteeism (Huge, Territorial, Castro, Messes & Engel, 2007) as veterans with PITS are not immune to experiencing triggers with their symptoms outside of their work environ meet that could have a secondary impact on work. Stress can also contribute to another common symptom of P T SD: recurring panic attacks. An employee may worry that these episodes will reflect negatively on them in the workplace; therefore, an employer would be best served by having a plan in place for handling this situation should it arise to help with the comfort of the veteran and other coworkers.
Additionally, a respectful and solid relationship between an employee and a supervisor is often critical for a productive workplace, which can sometimes be affected by a veteran suffering from PITS. Not only is the veteran likely not used to the traditional structure of a work environment as compared to the ranks of the military, but other symptoms of P T SD can trigger a negative action in a potentially frustrated employee.
For example, an employee suffering from PITS-induced memory loss who cannot perform a basic task that was explained to him or her earlier in the day may become overwhelmed or upset, and could lash out at or blame the supervisor, or having a generally negative reaction that could interfere with workplace morale and working relationships. Bosses are encouraged to make the transition easier on the worker by providing as much information in writing to serve as a reference as possible, and give positive reinforcement to the employee. Similarly, conflicts an arise between coworkers and veterans that may not occur between civilian employees.
It is critical to understand what is causing the tension: it is coming from stress, memory loss, lack Of concentration or another possible symptom of PITS? Coworkers should all receive some form of training on disable¶y’ awareness to help them make the best decisions in a potentially uncomfortable situation. Employers can also help diffuse tension before it begins by accommodating the veteran’s needs as best as possible, whether that be with a private workspace, allowing for music to be played during the day, or initiating techniques for managing stress. Finally, another key workplace concern for veterans with PITS is hypersensitivity.
This is defined as being anxious around large crowds and unknown areas, startling easily, and being sensitive to lights and sound. These symptoms can trigger physical reactions in soldiers, from headaches and migraines to more severe responses like panic attacks. In the workplace, this can present problems for a veteran because there is a certain lack of control over things like lighting and noises. An employer can provide alternative lighting for a worker who may be sensitive to bright office lights, and can also help with private accommodations when possible.
Coworkers should be sensitive to a veteran who may be prone to being startled when interrupted. Transitioning from life in a war zone to life in the civilian United States is likely difficult for all of the more-than two million men and women who have served overseas, but it can be made increasingly hard when adding PITS symptoms to the mix. With at least 20 percent of veterans reporting symptoms, it is paramount for employers to be aware of how to help manage a soldier’s medical concerns in the workplace. Veterans with this disorder will add unique issues to a work environment likely not seen as frequently in civilian employees.
Worries about transitioning well into an every-day job may even have the effect Of enhancing some PITS symptoms for certain veterans, depending on how they are affected by the disorder. Therefore, both veterans and employers should be responsible for having candid discussions regarding the patient’s experiences with the disorder, and how the work environment is likely to impact symptoms, in order to give both the company and the veteran the best chance to succeed as the soldier embarks on a new life as a civilian in the United States. The impacts of war have proven their significance to our service men and women.