Custom «Effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder on Today’s Military Personnel» Essay Paper Sample

Effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder on Today’s Military Personnel


In the military, veterans are extremely exposed to life threatening situations when they are in combat. Most of them get shot at while others experience their friends being killed at close range. When they come back home after actively serving in combat, memories of the war are still fresh in their minds. As a result, they end up suffering mental disorders. The most common mental disorder among the military personnel is post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). PTSD can be described as a mental disorder caused when people have horrific experiences in their life. In this situation, military personnel experiences horrific experiences as part of their career. Therefore, using different school of thoughts, effects of PTSD on military personnel when they come back home is described in depth.


When veterans come back from war, they often suffer from PTSD due to the war experiences. As a result, PTSD affects them how they relate with their family members and how they cope with the society. According to psychology, these effects can be explained with the use of different psychological school of thoughts. The psychological schools of thoughts are structuralism, behaviorism and cognitive school of thoughts. These thoughts explain the effects veterans suffering from PTSD have when they come back home from war. Second, it explains why PTSD veterans have suffered from these effects in the family. For this reason, the effects currently being exhibited by veterans suffering from PTSD can be categorized according to the school of thoughts (Ushakov, 2007).

One school of thought applicable in this situation of PTSD on military personnel is structuralism. According to this school of thought, mental disorders processes are broken down into units where the human mind can be understood. Additionally, structuralism establishes how different mental disorder patients behave. In this case, people with different mental disorders do not behave the same (Turnbull, 1999). For this reason, structuralism breaks the processes down and establishes why veterans behave in such a way. This was the first school of thought and it is greatly applicable to how PTSD patients in the military personnel behave when they come back home from active military duty.

When military personnel come back from home, they do not really adjust well in the society. When serving in active duty, they are highly alert because they can be attacked at any time. Therefore, when they come back to their home community, their mind has been set to be always alert of any danger. In this case, they tend to behave differently from how people in the society are behaving. According to structuralism, fresh memories of friends dying and being short at are still on their mind. Breaking down this mental process, military personnel with PTSD are trying to protect themselves and their families due to whatever they experienced during war (Yehuda, Blair, Labinsky, & Bierer, 2007). In this case, they will tend to exhibit emotional problems while they are trying to adapt the new environment.

Second, military personnel suffering with PTSD will avoid visiting areas where they think are dangerous. During war, certain areas were no go zones.This is because these places are susceptible to danger and a person might be killed easily. When they go back home to a new environment with no danger, the mind still remembers the areas that are susceptible to danger (Yehuda, Blair, Labinsky, & Bierer, 2007). For this reason, they will tend to avoid visiting these areas, due to the thought that they will face great danger. According to structuralism, the mind has broken down the places that are safe and areas that are not safe. In this case, the mind is set not visit those areas that posse a great danger to them.

Military personnel are highly disciplined and they follow a certain code of ethics. When they are serving on active duty, they must maintain this code of ethics in order to survive in the war. In this case, they know that it is because of their discipline they are able to survive in war and stay alive (Highfill-McRoy, Larson, Booth-Kewley & Garland, 2010). When they come back home, they maintain high discipline as their only way of survival. In the process, they affect their immediate family members because they want them to be disciplined. According to structuralism, the mental process in their mind is being disciplined in order to survive in the society. As a result, the mind forgets that it is in a friendly setting where there is no danger. This leads them to affect their family negatively and have constant arguments about discipline that could be avoided.

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The second psychological school of thought that could be used to explain these effects is behaviorism school of thought. Behaviorism suggests that how people tend to behave is affected by the environment in which they are living. This means that the mind might be conditioned by the environment to behave in a certain way to adapt to the environment. It is worth noting that this school of thought suggests that the mind is affect more by the environment and not the internal forces. Using this psychological school of thought, it is easier to understand how veterans suffering from PTSD survive in the new environment when they come back home from active duty (Moore, 2011).

When veterans come back home, they are used to the combat environment. In this case, the mind is set to behave in accordance to what it has been used in war zone. When they come back, they find themselves in a new environment. As soon as they are in a new environment, they realize that they cannot socialize with anybody. In this case, they tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. This is because the environment they are used to has completely changed. According to behaviorism, they isolate themselves from people because they are not used to this new environment. Additionally, the mind is already conditioned to the war zone environment. The only way to adapt is isolating themselves. As a result, they end up having marital problems.

When they come back from war, they realize that they cannot relate to anybody. Their wives have changed together with their friends they left back at home. For instance, a veteran may be friends with a person who they were in college. Before going into active military duty, they used to go to parties and perform other activities. When they come back, they find their friends happily married with good jobs. The friends they used too spend time together are no longer there to spend time with them. They find it difficult creating new friends because the environment has totally changed (Yehuda, Harvey, Buchsbaum, Tischler, & Schmeidler, 2007). As a result, they end up becoming depressed because they do not have any one who they can relate with. Behaviorism dictates that people will have difficulties in creating new friends in a new environment. This often leads to frustrations especially if they have problems causing depression.

Another effect of PTSD is drinking and financial problem leading to family break ups and violence. When military personnel come back from war and introduce themselves, they find it hard to solve new problems they experience in this new environment. As a result, they end up engaging themselves in family violence. When they are not fighting, they are taking alcohol. Eventually, they become alcoholics. This means that all their money starts trickling down to alcohol. In they end, they start having financial problems (Angrist, Chen & Frandsen, 2010). This results in marital status and family breaks. According to behaviorism, patients with PTSD often tend to result in violence and abusing drugs as a way of solving their problems. This is due to the war environment they were used to in active duty.

The third psychological school of thought is cognitive. Cognitive tends to critic behaviorism thought because it does not include internal forces. Therefore, this means that cognitive school of thought includes internal forces besides external environment. In this case, it tries to study the human mind based on how the external and internal environmental forces affect the brain. This school of thought is extremely important because it explains the effects exhibited by veterans suffering from PTSD when they are coming back from home (Hoffrage, Todd & Hertwig, 2005).

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In active duty, veterans experience the most horrific events. For instance, they may be captured and tortured by the enemy, they may watch their friends being killed by the enemy and they are mostly short at by the enemy while in war. When they come back from this horrific experience, they will have a hard time coping with this new environment. Nobody is willing to socialize with them. As a result, they end up committing suicide living their families wondering what happened yet they were so alone (Neal, 1999). Based on cognitive school of thought, the internal forces led the veteran to believe that he or she is not needed in this environment. Second, the external environment catalyzed the situations since they are not able to adapt to the new environment.


According to the three psychological schools of thoughts, military personnel suffering from PTSD have a hard time in adapting to their social life outside active duty. PTSD has affects the way they live with their family soon after they have come back from war. In this case, the schools of thought explain these effects. However, these schools of thought can be used to treat these patients together with medicine. Therefore, this research will greatly help the relevant government authorities in treating veterans suffering from PTSD reducing the adverse effects it causes leading to family break up and even death.

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