Is The Military Doing Enough To Help Soldiers With PTSD?

War is dirty business and most people involved, especially those from the west, are usually not mentally prepared to deal with the reality of the experience. The images, sounds, smells and feelings a soldier experiences during a war can be extreme, often leaving lasting impressions on a person’s psyche. There is also the effects of necessary survival reflexes that a person, especially a surviving one, develops during the war. An act like hearing a sound, immediately turning, aiming and pulling a trigger can be hard to get rid of, especially for those that spend years at a time on the fields.

The administration

Prior to a war, men are trained in the arts of combat, equipment and in the ability to execute a kill. Very little attention is paid to the mental state of these individuals and so many suffer mental trauma after killing for the first time. There bodies may have been trained to be able to efficiently execute the act, but the mind can suffer damage if it is unprepared to deal with this reality. Some experts argue that this may be the cause of many kinds of PTSD. It is also said that the armed forces themselves are not responsible for taking care of a soldier that has been injured on the field. First aid and other immediate medical needs will be attended to and then the person is discharged to another organization for further treatment and care. This separation of responsibility can also be a large contributing factor to the lack of understanding and care received by soldiers with PTSD.

At Home

Upon reaching home, it often seems like the support system in place for returning veterans is inadequate and poorly managed and this may very well be true, but not as a result of negligence by the organizations. The government does not seem to be too interested in funding recovery efforts for past soldiers and instead larger sums of money is spent on acquiring more military equipment than is directed towards recovery treatment. The existing support systems run on extremely limited funding.

It is quite a shame that a country that relies so heavily on military activity can be so neglecting of the very part of that organization that makes it all possible. Devices and weaponry are important for war but they must not neglect the mental well being of the soldiers that operate these devices, it is shortsighted and cruel.