Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by experiencing an event with extreme circumstances surrounding it. Consistently, military members are forced to put their mental, physical and emotional well-being aside and focus on the mission at hand. That mission in and of itself may also require extreme mental, physical and emotional precision. All in all, we push ourselves well beyond our limits, consistently and then keep going. It's just who we are and how we function.Typically, there is also little rest and decompression time before having to jump right back in and keep going. If someone is experiencing any kind of ailment or anguish, they are not necessarily forced to keep going, but the culture surrounding shows if they don't, repercussions will arise in some form. All too often, the adage of "drink water and drive on" is applied, thereby not allowing any issues to truly be resolved.Essentially this creates deeper issues that, when finally addressed, require 'more' treatment. The issue currently being faced is how much medication for PTSD ailments is too much and when should we resort to alternate forms of treatments. One of the biggest symptoms of PTSD is anxiety and sleep issues and almost immediately, medication is prescribed.These medications tend to alter hormones and other aspects of your endocrine system, thereby altering a person's physical and mental state. Sometimes, the medications work, other times, they have extremely adverse effects. In the case of Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger, multiple medications were prescribed on top of each other, ultimately leading to his accidental death due to multiple drug toxicity in 2008.After his death, Chad's family started a foundation to urge organizations like the Veteran's Administration to provide alternate treatments instead of prescriptions. As they started their endeavors, they began hearing of numerous families and military members that experienced the same issues theirs had. Too many people were getting over medicated by the 'system' meant to cure them.The Foundation's goals are simple, yet effective- Provide awareness, become a resource themselves, and help provide alternative treatments for PTSD.Through the last decade since Chad's death, treatment options for PTSD and other service-related injuries continues to take leaps and bounds. On the VA's own website today, they promote psychotherapy sessions over prescriptions and offer a variety of treatment options. The VA also started the National Center for PTSD to continue research and development of better therapy options.While the true numbers may never be truly known, on va.gov the numbers currently show the following:
- Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
- Gulf War (Desert Storm): About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.
- Vietnam War: About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS). It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
The Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger Foundation will be on American Grit Live today at 1pm Central here. Watch and find out more about their organization! You can also click here to go to their website.If you think you are being under or over treated for PTSD, seek additional help.