Addressing stress related trauma in military personnel – Part 2

There is more to the human being than the physical, than the drugs and then than surgery. So, what treatment is there for the other part of your be­ing?

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The biggest problem is the soldier’s helplessness in re­solving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumat­ic brain injury. This problem had been identified several years ago, but little has been done.

The stress- related issues in a soldier’s life are closely linked with welfare and need to be addressed most sincere­ly by all agencies concerned with the welfare of the mili­tary personnel.

No human being is exempt­ed from stress. Stress causes a number of biological chang­es and is intended to activate the body’s fuel reserves. The soldiers are no exception except that they are com­paratively in an ideal stress breeding environment due to frequent and a large number of uncertainties/ changes vis-à-vis civilian counterparts with similar service condi­tions.

When we are stressed, our pulse, blood pressure and breathing rate increases. This in turn augments the amount of available energy. The heart beats rapidly under stress and begins to pump a greater quantity of blood with each beat. The bronchial tubes now expand to channelise extra air with each breath.

The blood vessels supplying the muscles expand as well. The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet begin to sweat. Stress is evidenced to be one of the causative factors for lifestyle disorders such as backaches and sleep­lessness, hyperacidity, gas, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

In addition, hormonal imbalances caused by stress responses can cause fibroid tumours and endometriosis.

Stress is also linked to infertility problems among couples. The chronic stress responses can either lead to aggression or depression in people, depending on the personality traits of the indi­vidual.

While the individuals with aggressive attitude suffering from chronic stress are prone to commit fratricide, the individuals with depressive tendencies are prone to com­mit suicide.

There were as many as 635 cases of suicide including attempted suicides and 67 cases of fratricidal killings in the three services of Armed Forces during the years 2003 to 2007. These statistics also indicate that the Army was worst affected by this malady (M.O.D. India).

We all know that the human being needs to be treated holistically whenever there is an issue. So when there is a surgical problem the patient has to be operat­ed upon.

When there is a medical problem you need to give drugs and various kinds of treatment but that is not all there is to the human being.

People have encountered very serious emotional prob­lems including stress, trau­matic brain injury, post-trau­matic stress disorder, terribly grieving- and some of these cannot be given surgical or medical attention.

What remedy is there to rectify their predicament and what can we do for them? Do we have the answers and are we able to reach out to them holistically?

There is a big impact being able to reach out to the patient or person most holistically if we really mean to reach and stretch forward totally towards the entire healing processes of a pa­tient’s condition.

If you are able to heal someone completely, I think we should not neglect it.

Some of these emotional diseases or disorders that affect our brave and highly devoted intelligent Military personnel cannot be dealt with through conventional surgery. This form of surgery has nothing to do with ortho­dox medication technically.

By Robert Ekow Grimmond-Thompson

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