PTSD….. a chic interrupted

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PTSD IN WAR….

According to a study (the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, NVVRS) performed in the mid 80’s 15.2% of the male Vietnam veterans, surveyed at that time, suffered from PTSD and 30% of heavy combat male Vietnam veterans suffered from PTSD. Even though no survey was done, 16,354,000 veterans served during WW-II and 5,700,000 served in Korea.

Let’s split the difference and say that 20% of all the veterans then and now suffer from PTSD of some intensity.

The Veterans Administration confirms that approximately 19,196,000 veterans are still living. That would mean that some 3,838,200 veterans suffer from PTSD and as of July 1997 only approximately 500,000 were being treated and only 102,000 are receiving disability compensation. This means that only approximately 1.3% of those veterans are being treated and only .3% of those being treated are receiving disability compensation.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs in June 2010, there were 171,423 deployed Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans diagnosed with PTSD, out of total of 593,634 patients treated by VA (www.va.gov). Thus far 84,005 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veteran patients have been granted VA disability compensation; of that about half for PTSD. Often disregarded is the fact that many of our wounded veterans are surviving injuries that would have resulted in their fatality in wars past.

PTSD IN WOMEN and others

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a real issue in women’s communities.  It can occur at any age; however, the typical age of onset is around 23.  PTSD can impact the overall quality of someone’s entire life journey.

PTSD can be caused by most any traumatic event including sexual assault, rape, car accident, fire, domestic violence, natural disaster and more.

Gender strongly influences PTSD. Women are two to three times more likely to suffer from PTSD than men.

It is estimated that 50-70% of women who seek mental health services report childhood sexual abuse trauma, Karen Duncan (2004)

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year.  Less than 20 percent of battered women sought medical treatment following an injury.

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day.

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, “domestic violence affecting LGBT individuals continues to be grossly underreported . . . there is a lack of awareness and denial about the existence of this type of violence and its impact, both by LGBT people and non-LGBT people alike

WE HEAR ABOUT OUR VETERANS…WHY NOT OUR ABUSED?

So in the Iraq and Afghan wars roughly 600,000+ were diagnosed with PTSD over 10 years, and roughly 3.8 million suffer PTSD from the WWII, Korean War and Vietnam. We hear about our militaries health daily through the media and how to help.

The National Victim Center reports that over 700,000 women are raped or sexually assaulted annually. Of these victims, 61% are under age 18. Less is known about the frequency of rapes perpetrated against men. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that male victims represent about five percent of reported sexual assaults.

Sexual assaults can and do occur within marital relationships. Most often, these assaults occur within a context of ongoing domestic violence. While reports and prosecutions of spousal rape are fairly infrequent, some convictions have occurred. Sexual assault is reported by 33% to 46% of women who are being physically assaulted by their husbands.

PTSD MYTHS

Several sociocultural influences contribute to the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault. These include increased acceptance of interpersonal violence, adversarial stereotypes of male-female relationships, prevalent myths about rape, and sex-role stereotyping. Some victims of attacks meeting the legal definition of rape do not label their experience as sexual assault.

Common myths surrounding rape include: only women can be sexually assaulted; victims who truly resist cannot be raped; no really doesn’t mean no; nice girls don’t get raped; and “she asked for it.” Male rape victims may feel that others will question their sexuality if they report the incident or that they, in fact, subconsciously desired and complied with their assault

PTSD AFFECTS ALL

I gathered these statistics because I have been diagnosed with PTSD from my first marriage which was abusive. My husband is a 2x OIF vet, and I have seen many member diagnosed with PTSD.

The recognition of PTSD has got to go beyond our military and to others that have been traumatically abused and start spreading the word about who all can be affected by this.

Please help spread the word of PTSD beyond war, to our abused, raped, and to those that cannot speak.

Thank you,

Laurie Olmon

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About me

Northern country girl, daughter, mother, wife, fiscal conservative, social liberal, recovering catholic, environmentalist, equality rules! Proverbs 31 Girl. You may as well say, 'That's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion. William Tecumseh Sherman When you wake up in the morning and your feet hit the floor.... the devil says "oh crap, she's awake"...

5 responses »

  1. it is epidemic and eat to little is actually being done.

    More word dressing and studies. Ghe army and the head of the psychology group are studying taking the D for disorder away from PTSD.

    They actually think calling trauma PTS will solve the problem. Please.

    I run an action blog of support for complex PTSD.

    http://ptsdawayout.com/
    Marty

    • Most of the information for the military/veterans I got from the ptsd.va.gov website. Making the connection between domestic violence and ptsd was a little more of a search. The Center for Violence, the Dept. of Health and Human Services, the National Violence Against Women website, and many more. I did list where I did get my information from just not the particulars. I hope this helps.

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