How the US Plans to Improve the Treatment of Recent Veterans Suffering from PTSD & TBI?

Several veterans coming back from war have encountered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) side effects. Senator Gillibrand has an exclusive plan to reinforce observing and treatment for men and women at work and new veterans. This authoritative plan concentrates on getting the organizations at the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Veterans Administration (VA) to facilitate all the treatment more adequately. They have to work seamlessly to address the problems related to mental health treatment. And they need to work tirelessly to upgraded the screening procedure and make it accessible to mental health providers.

Stanford University study revealed that PTSD and other mental diseases can affect upwards of 35% of all veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In spite of everything, there remains much more work to do to offer quality treatment to the PTSD and TBI affected service members and veterans.

According to RAND Corporation data, around 8,000 new veterans from NYC suffer from PSTD and more than 7,000 suffer from TBI. Also, over 4,000 suffer from both. The corporation also states that 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans encounter PTSD, 19% suffer from TBI, and 75% is affected by both problems. Senator Gillibrand’s New Efforts to Improve PTSD and TBI Treatment for New Veterans are as follows –

  1. Develop Coordination between Defense Department and VA

As the problems are persistent, the DOD has made huge steps to develop the screening and treatment of TBI within its systems. Be that as it may, these developments have not been implemented into a systematic methodology for veterans leaving active duty and entering VA care. For instance, the VA and DOD have no mutually interoperable meaning of what even constitutes TBI cases. This makes it hard to guarantee veterans are quickly getting successful treatment when they are shifted to the VA. Building up right ID of TBI is a basic to deliver the right treatment. A letter conveyed to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, Senator Gillibrand has insisted on improving an integrated way to deal with recognizing and treating TBI. Also, he is worried over the dependence on a psychotropic solution to treat TBI, which has almost tripled. This has led the increase of around 100,000 prescriptions to more than 300,000, with no reasonable proof as to its viability.

  1. Implant Mental Health Providers with National Guard and Reserve Units

Guard and Reserve units have ended up being especially helpless to PTSD as an aftereffect of numerous deployments and the challenge to readapt to regular citizen life. The first four years in Iraq and Afghanistan over half of service members Guard and Reserve veterans have committed suicide. To offer a steady access to mental health treatment to the troops, Senator Gillibrand is making an enactment to implant a mental health professional to each Guard and Reserve unit to create the trust of troops and their families to recognize the onset of mental wounds. In light of a pilot program with the California National Guard, this step has been demonstrated to develop access to mental health treatment. Ultimately, it will lessen the stigma related with looking for help, just about multiplying the rate of Guard troops separately looking for mental help without a referral from a military facility or authority.

  1. Establish Long-Term Screening and Care

In the past few years, the DOD major progress in improving screening assessments to recognize PTSD upon the return of service members from the wars. Nevertheless, Senator Gillibrand has been notified by several veterans who have found that in view of the moderate onset of PTSD indications, a one-time screening upon come back from war is not generally sufficient to identify the problem. Therefore, he is keeping in touch with Charles L. Rice, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and pushing to create suggestions on the most effective methods to identify the onsets of these illnesses like – by providing an extra screening 6 or 12 months after coming back from a battle.

How do the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan affect the Surviving Soldiers?

Since Vietnam war, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are the longest ever battle operations. A lot of stressors confront these Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) troops. OEF/OIF service members are at danger for death or severe injury. They may see others hurt or executed. In fact, they might have needed to slaughter or wound others. As a result, they are subjected to dangers. These and different components have the potentials to expand the possibilities of having PTSD or other psychological problems.

Several members of service have been far away from home for long stretches of time and these issues can bring problems at home or work. Also, these issues can add to the anxiety as well. Besides, these problems are severe for National Guard and Reserve troops who had not anticipated that they would be away for so long. Half of the individuals who have served in the present wars have been Guard and Reservists.

There is another persisting stress problem that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan is military sexual trauma (MST). This is rape or recurring, devastating inappropriate sexual behavior that happens in the military. It can happen to men and ladies. MST can also happen during peacetime, training period, or war.

One early study looked at the mental health of service members in Afghanistan and Iraq. The study asked Soldiers and Marines about war-zone experiences and about their symptoms of distress. Soldiers and Marines in Iraq reported more combat stressors than Soldiers in Afghanistan. This table describes the kinds of stressors faced in each combat theatre in 2003.

A research has been conducted on the emotional well-being of service members in Afghanistan and Iraq. It revealed some information about war-zone experiences and the side effects of distress. More soldiers, officers and marines in Iraq war reported about stress than in Afghanistan war. The below table portrays the kinds of stressors confronted in every battle in 2003 –

Combat Stressors Seeing dead bodies Being shot at Being attacked/ ambushed Receiving rocket or mortar fire Know someone killed/ seriously injured
Iraq Army 95% 93% 89% 86% 86%
Iraq Marines 94% 97% 95% 92% 87%
Afghanistan Army 39% 66% 58% 84% 43%

Source: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

The soldiers and marines served in Iraq war suffered from more combat stressors and mental health problems than those who served in Afghanistan. The rate of having PSTD is higher for the soldiers in Iraq than Afghanistan. A later research confirmed these findings with evidence.

What causes the risk of PTSD in OEF/OIF service members?

Some research studies have revealed that specific factors make it more likely that OEF/OIF service members will develop PTSD. These factors include:

  • Long deployment time
  • Severe combat exposure, such as Deployment to “forward” areas close to the enemy and watching others wounded or killed
  • Severe physical injury and Traumatic brain injury
  • Lower rank and Lower level of schooling
  • Low morale and poor social support within the unit
  • Not being married and having Family problems
  • Member of the National Guard or Reserves
  • Prior trauma exposure
  • Hispanic ethnic group

What are the probable outcomes?

A research on OEF/OIF Veterans recommends that 10% to 18% of OEF/OIF troops are vulnerable to have PTSD after the war. Also, the PTSD, OEF/OIF service members are at a greater level of danger for other mental problems. In spite of the fact that studies differ generally as far as systems utilized, approximations of depression in returning troops vary from 3% to 25%. An excessive level of drinking and use of tobacco among OEF/OIF Veterans might be hazardous. They additionally report worries over differences with others.

Apart from this research, several other research studies have revealed how the reaction to war stressors changes after some time. The PTSD signs will probably appear in returning OEF/OIF service members after a while. Utilizing a brief PTSD screen, they were evaluated at their arrival and an again six months later. They will probably have a positive screen and they have demonstrated more PTSD side effects – at a later time. Now, a lot of service members who were screened positive with PSTD in the initial showed that the side effects will be reduced after six months. As a whole, it must be noted that almost all the returning members evaluated negatively for PSTD at both times.

Summary: The War against Iraq

From 1979 to 2003, Saddam Hussein ruled an atrocious dictatorship of Iraq. In 1990, he attacked and possessed the country of Kuwait for six months until being removed by a global coalition. For a while, he had demonstrated differing degrees of scorn for the international terms consented to toward the end of the war, to be specific a “no-fly zone” over a significant part of the nation, especially, the international examinations of probable artillery destinations. In 2003, an American-drove coalition attacked Iraq and ousted the Saddam Hussein’s long-standing government.

  1. Creating the Coalition

US President Bush had provided various reasons for attacking Iraq. These rationales included infringement of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the assembling of weapons of mass annihilation (WMD), and monstrosities conferred by Hussein against his kin. All of these violations represented a strong risk to the U.S. what’s more, the world. The U.S. guaranteed to have proof that demonstrated the presence of the WMD. They asked the U.N. Security Council to approve an invasion but the council did not. Rather, the U.S. along with the United Kingdom enrolled 29 different nations in a “coalition of the willing” to support and complete the invasion started in March 2003.

  1. Post-Invasion Troubles

Despite the fact that the first part of the war went as anticipated (the Iraqi government collapsed in a few days), the occupation and the restructuring demonstrated a very troublesome and difficult task. The UN held elections that led to the birth of new constitution and government. Be that as it may, brutal efforts by rebels had driven the nation to civil war. It had destabilized the new government and made Iraq a hotbed for terrorist enrollment. And significantly, these violence efforts raised the expense of the war. No stockpiles of WMD were found in Iraq, which harmed the trustworthiness of the U.S. As a result, the reputations of the American leaders were damaged and undermined the method of reasoning for the war.

  1. Divisions inside Iraq

Within Iraq, the different groups and loyalties were difficult to understand. Religious flaw lines between Sunni and Shiite Muslims were investigated. In spite of the fact that religion is an influential force in the Iraq friction, secular influences, including Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party, was considered to better comprehend Iraq.

  1. Expense of the Iraq War

In Iraq War, over 4,000 American troops have been executed and more than 30,000 injured. Almost 300 troops from other associated forces have been slaughtered. According to sources, over 50,000 Iraqi agitators have been murdered in the war and Iraqi regular citizens dead range is from 50,000 to 600,000. The United States has spent over $700 billion on the war and may eventually spend a trillion or more dollars.

 

  1. Foreign Policy Implications

Since 2002, the Iraq war and its aftermath have been at the focal point of U.S. foreign policy. The war and encompassing issues (like Iran) possess the consideration of about each leader at the White House, State Department, and Pentagon. Furthermore, the war has created an anti-American sentiment around the globe. Ultimately, it has made global policy making procedure more troublesome

  1. Future movements for the Iraq War

President Bush and his group appeared to be resolved to proceed with the control of Iraq. They had wanted to convey enough solidness to the country that Iraqi security powers can keep up control and permit the new government to pick up strength and legitimacy. However, other people believe this is an unthinkable task. What’s more, the perceived future is conceivable however can’t develop until after American soldiers are taken off from Iraq. Dealing with the American departure is discussed in a report from the bipartisan “Iraq Study Group” and in the plans of a few presidential campaigns.

Iraq War: Everything You Need to Know about!

The Iraq war started on March 19, 2003. Currently, it is the longest military clash of United States other than the Vietnam War. The Iraq war has taken somewhere in the range of 90,000 Iraqi lives. Besides, around 4,298 coalition troops has been died, among them, there are about 4,000 Americans. Also, the American citizens or taxpayers have paid nearly $700 billion and this war may cost up to $2 trillion if the war continues for another five years.

Significant Events of the war

  • On March 2003, about 300,000 American and British troops had attacked Iraq. Almost all the members from the U.N. have opposed the war. On May 1, the then President of US Bush declared victory over Iraq. But, there was violence against American soldiers and Iraqis who supported the war. Because of vulnerable security, robbers figure out how to take invaluable archeological relics from the National Museum in Baghdad. And a huge amount of explosives was stolen from an Iraqi weapons facility. The Iraqi Army had broken down and members from Saddam’s ruling Baath party were restricted from taking part in the government activities. In December, Saddam was found in a little subversive hideout.

 

  • In 2004, an interim constitution was approved. There were photos revealed abusing Iraqi detainees by American fighters in the Abu Ghraib jail. A furious adversary of American inclusion in Iraq, Shiite minister Moktada al-Sadr, drove an uprising against U.S. troops. As a result, the terrorist attacks occurred in every day.

 

  • In 2005, the first election in Iraq took place in over 50 years. The people of Iraq picked a National Assembly. In that election, all most all Sunnis decline to vote, and Shiites win a greater part of the vote. The “Bringing down Street Memo” surfaces – providing details regarding a 2002 meeting, the head of British Intelligence expresses that President Bush needed to uproot Saddam, and that the Bush administration influenced the evidence to start an invasion. Saddam Hussein goes on trial for wrongdoings against humankind.

 

  • In 2006, Nouri al-Maliki was elected as Prime Minister of Iraq. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a pioneer of “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” was executed by American troops. Saddam Hussein is executed as well.

 

  • In 2007, on the insistence of General David Petraeus, who was the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, US President Bush had provided an additional 30,000 troops to Iraq. “The surge” means to smother the aggression and help the rival groups to achieve a political settlement. The ongoing brutality of “al-Qaeda in Iraq” triggered a backfire, which is known as the Sunni Awakening. Almost 80,000 previous Sunni agitators betray Al-Qaeda and backed the new government.

 

  • 2008 The Iraqi government calls for the removal of U.S. troops by 2011.

 

  • In February 2009, newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama declared that American battle troops will leave Iraq by August 2010. However, around 50,000 soldiers will stay for advising and training the Iraqi security forces and thus, they will help with intelligence-gathering.

 

  • In August 2010, US President Obama declared that the American battle mission in Iraq has been finished.

Numbers involved with Iraq War

  • American soldiers murdered in Iraq: 4,487
  • American soldiers injured in Iraq: 32,226
  • Dollars spent (or affirmed to be spent) on the war, through 9/10: about $900 billion
  • Iraqi police and soldiers murdered: 9,381
  • Iraqi civilians murdered: assessments range from 50,000 to 600,000
  • Iraqi guerrillas slaughtered: around 55,000
  • Iraqi refugees who have left their home: more than 2.1 million (about 7% of the aggregate population)
  • Iraqi refugees inside Iraq: more than 2.2 million starting 2007

How has the Iraq War changed the course of the lives of Iraq People?

As indicated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (in 2007), “Civilians endured the worst part of the persistent brutality and the poor security conditions disrupt the lives and jobs of millions. Consistently, many individuals were murdered and numerous were injured. Shootings, bombings, snatchings, murders, military operations and different types of savagery are compelling a large number of individuals to escape their homes and look for security somewhere else in Iraq or in neighboring nations.” As of 2007, 25% of Iraqi children experienced endless chronic malnutrition. 40% of professionals had escaped from the nation and a lot of homes had electricity for just a couple of hours a day (starting 2007). And just 1/3 of homes had sewer system facilities.