GFW PTSD Home  | Site Map  | Site Search   
Gift From Within - PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers



Addiction:
Adoption:
Auto Accidents:
Chaplains, Police, EMT:
Childhood & Adult Sexual Victimization:
Compassion Fatigue:
Culture, Race and Ethnicity:
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault:
Grief:
Journalists, Survivors and the Media:
Male Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence:
Partners & Families:
PTSD Treatment & Recovery:
PTSD & Health:
PTSD & Workplace Issues:
Recovery & Self Help:
Resiliency:
School Disasters:
Spirituality & Trauma:
Survivor Guilt:
Trauma Responses in the Aftermath of Disasters:
Veterans & Their Families:
 
american_flag92.gif - 2225 Bytes

Supporting Our Soldiers-PTSD Info For Chaplains

By Dr. Angie Panos

Our country is facing a crisis of gigantic proportions. Tens of thousands of male and female, young US soldiers have been maimed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if they come home with their physical bodies and health intact, there is another war that they must fight within themselves. Large numbers of these returning veterans are showing signs of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The average age of the combat personnel is only 19. Their lack of life experience and stage of spiritual development leave them feeling like there is no way to cope with the atrocities they have witnessed. Once called "shell shock" or "combat fatigue," PTSD displays symptoms that include flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, feelings of detachment and estrangement from others, irritability, rage, trouble concentrating, emotional outbursts and sleeplessness. PTSD in veterans often coexists with other disorders such as clinical depression and substance abuse.

Another serious psychiatric fallout from the war that we are seeing in mostly young, lower enlisted returning soldiers is suicide. While there are numerous reports of suicides, exact statistics are difficult to gather, as many of these veterans have declined to participate in programs that could monitor them. Services to veterans are severely under funded and are challenged to handle the overwhelming numbers of injured solders. Parents of the veterans that suicide often report that their son or daughter could not get images of dead bodies and injured children out of their minds.

Soldiers typically have lower rates of PTSD in wars that have clear missions, clear enemies, time frames, achievable objectives and adequate resources to carry out the mission. Soldiers typically have higher rates of PTSD in wars with confusion about who is the enemy- such as we are seeing in Iraq. Combat against the insurgency happens in crowded streets, marketplaces and neighborhoods, places where innocent children are likely to be at risk for injury and death. Other factors that increase PTSD are unspecified or changing lengths of deployment, lack of clear mission, high civilian deaths, and lack of substantive rationale for the war.

What can you do in your role as a chaplain to rise to the challenge facing our countrymen? First, educate yourself on PTSD and the need for comprehensive treatment strategies, which include spiritual support. Next, develop resource networks that do outreach to veterans and provide linkages to comprehensive care. Finally, the great need for spiritual support, renewal and healing to the tens of thousands of veterans must be answered by all of us with the skills and opportunity to reach out to these soldiers and assist them in returning to productive lives.

Brief Bio:

Dr. Angie Panos is a psychologist and a board certified expert in traumatic stress with 25 years of experience. She is the mother of a daughter who is currently serving in the military. Dr. Panos is on the Chaplain Training Committee and trains volunteer chaplains for Intermountain Health Care and Primary Children's Hospital. She is on the Board of Directors of Gift From Within, a nonprofit organization that provides education and resources for trauma survivors and mental health counselors. For more information contact www.giftfromwithin.org

This article was suggested by The HealthCare Chaplaincy Contact: Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs, BCC Managing Editor, PlainViews - an e-newsletter for chaplains and other spiritual care providers

 

Was this helpful to you?
If so, please consider supporting our work.


 Preventing Compassion Fatigue: Power Point Presentation by Dr. Angie Panos



Article Index:

Addiction | Adoption | Auto Accidents | Chaplains, Police, EMT | Childhood & Adult Sexual Victimization | Compassion Fatigue
Culture, Race, and Ethnicity | Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault | Grief | Journalists, Survivors, and the Media
Male Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence | Partners & Families | PTSD Treatment & Recovery | PTSD and Health
PTSD and Workplace Issues | Recovery & Self Help | Resiliency | School Disasters
Spirituality & Trauma | Survivor Guilt | Trauma Responses in the Aftermath of Disasters | Veterans & Their Families


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Home Page | Site Map | Articles | Webcasts | Order Form | DVDs on PTSD and Trauma | Q&A with Dr. Ochberg
PTSD Etiquette: Finding The Right Words | Meditations | Support Pals Humor Grab Bag
Support Pals Share Inspirational Stories | Support Pals Share Favorite Healing Ideas | Support Pals Book Reviews
Support Pals Finding A Therapist | Support Pals Talk About Living With PTSD | Support Pals Favorite Books & Music
Support Pals Discuss: What PTSD Means To Me | Military Family Resources | Support Groups | Internet Links | Retreats & Respites
Conferences, Workshops and Seminars | PTSD & Trauma Bookstore | Poetry | Art | Music | Survivor Psalm | Memory Shouldn't Be...
Mission Statement | What People Are Saying | Support GFW | Frank Ochberg's Bio | Joyce Boaz's Bio | Board Members | Contact Us
Awards | Band of Angels | What's New | View Our PSAs | Site Search | Guestbook


Copyright © 1995-2017 Gift from Within,Camden, Maine 04843
html Conversion Copyright © 1995-2017 SourceMaine, Belfast, Maine 04915
Content may not be reproduced on websites without express permission. Please link instead.

Page created on 31 January 2007
Last updated by on 16 December 2015