Monday, 14 March 2011

Symptoms of PTSD Following a Shooting or Explosion while in combat:

There are a number of traumatic situations and events that can lead to the development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. However, exposure to a shooting or explosion may place someone at a particularly higher risk for developing symptoms of PTSD, then say a person watching a building burn down or a person seeing a fatal accident.
Exposure to an explosion and/or shootings, can be particularly difficult to cope with for a number of reasons:

  1. In combat, when the potential for traumatic devastation is eminent and explosions and shootings are expected and anticipated, they are however, unpredictable. 
    With that being said, situations that are perceived as unpredictable are much more likely to bring on high levels of helplessness, anxiety, and fear. 
  2. The more frequent the explosions and shootings are the more intense the symptoms will become. (I lived through 6 explosions in Iraq. Twice my vehicle rolled. Each time the panic and anxiety intensified ten-fold).
  3. In addition, situations like this may leave a person feeling as though there is nothing they can do to protect themselves in the future or that their security awareness zone increased as their personal safe space has decreased.
  4. During an explosion or shooting, there is an extreme threat to a Combat Veterans life. This can drastically change his or her outlook on life. Even though in combat one is trained to expect the unexpected, in terms or life and death situations, the human mind still clings to a commonly-held assumption that we are safe, or beliefs like "bad things won't happen to me."  It is then that the combat veteran's perception of the unexpected and anticipated become destroyed and questioned.
  5. In addition to feeling as though your own life is in danger, during an explosion or shooting, a Combat Veteran is more likely to be exposed to the death or injury of others. This may bring up feelings of horror, magnifying the impact of this type of traumatic event.
In the aftermathof a explosion or shooting, a combat veteran will usually experience a number of symptoms that would be considered part of an acute stress or PTSD. Some of these stressors or triggers may be: (Note: these are only some of the symptoms that may arise following an explosion or shooting . It is also not uncommon to experience symptoms of depression and worry.)
  • Frequent and intense nightmares about the event.
  • Intrusive thoughts or memories about the explosion or shooting that are easily triggered by things in your environment (for example, newspaper or television news articles, television shows and movies, conversations about combat or war).
  • Attempts to avoid triggers that remind you of the explosion or shooting . This may especially be the case for places where you feel you could be in danger of experiencing a similar event again (for example, unfamiliar places or crowded places, noisy places).
  • A high level of fear and anxiety upon hearing sounds that are similar to an explosion or shooting. (such as a car backfiring or fireworks.)
  • Feeling constantly on edge or always on guard, almost as if there is danger lurking around every corner.
  • Insomnia and having difficulty sleeping. (For example, you may feel overly alert, and as a result, wake up in response to even the slightest of sounds or smells.)Click Here!


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