The challenges of treating post-traumatic stress disorder

February 08, 2012

Dr. Jason Caplan, associate professor and department chair of psychiatry at the Creighton University School of Medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, and Dr. Adam McCray of the Department of Veterans Affairs talk about causes and treatment of PTSD. McCray explains that the military conditions people into forming a specific culture. People take responsibility for fellow soldiers and controlling a situation. When there’s a negative outcome and someone dies or is injured, a person in that culture feels wholly responsible and launches into a cascade of negative thoughts. McCray says that there is also a stigma against bringing up negative thought or feelings because psychological problems can impact a soldier’s career. Caplan says that once a person seeks help, symptoms can be managed through a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Memories of traumatic incidents will remain, but veterans will be more prepared to deal with them.

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