Discuss post traumatic stress syndrome as an example of a military mental health stigma.
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Research shows that approximately thirty percent of deployed soldiers, who return from either the Iraq or Afghanistan war zones, experience a variety of mental health difficulties; including anger, anxiety, nightmares, depression, and lack of concentration skills. Furthermore, approximately fifteen percent of these returning soldiers have had incidents of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and heightened anxiety. Widespread stressors consisted of deployment timeframes and STOP LOSS, roadside bombings, enemy killings, human-remains handling, the sight and smell of the injured and dead, and survivor's remorse.
Deployment and Mental Health Issues
According to the research, roughly ninety percent of soldiers who have returned from these wars have encountering some, if not all of these described stressors; twelve percent have been severely wounded. PTSD diagnoses correlate greatly with those who have returned from war. While countless military members who have encountered these stressors in the wars experience emotional and mental problems, there are few soldiers who essentially seek out professional help.
Every soldier is mandated to undergo a medical and psychological evaluation while being demobilized. However according to Britt (2000), soldiers associate a 'stigma' when there is a need to acquire psychological help versus therapeutic help, upon returning from war. Any soldier who scores low or a little above the 'cut-off' mark when assessing alcohol abuse, depression and PTSD, are required to interview with a professional mental health doctor. Any soldier with any form of medical symptoms, from rashes to hang nails, must see a medical doctor. Britt (2000) reports soldiers had more anxiety in having to discuss impending psychological troubles, than when discussing any medical issues they were experiencing, Moreover, each soldier stated they were less likely to follow through with seeing a mental health doctor, than a medical doctor.
Likewise, Hoge et al (2004) found only 38 percent of soldiers diagnosed were even interested in getting professional help; additionally, only 23 percent would even admit to receiving professional help. However, soldiers who positively scored for mental health issues, feared stigmatization on average twice as much as the other soldiers who did not score positively.
Mental Health 'Stigma'
In review of the research, we find the foremost factor connected with not divulging a problem and obtaining help, is with the proposed 'stigma'. There has been modest research completed regarding the stigma soldiers associate with admitting mental health problems within a military framework. However, in considering this stigma, it is essential to characterize the stigma and differentiate it between an internalized and public stigma.
As per Corrigan and Perm (1999) stigma is defined as an erroneous and negative mind-set about an individual; a negative typecast or prejudice. The public's reaction in general in regards to individuals with mental infirmity, is characterized as a 'public stigma' as per Corrigan and Watson (2002); while "self-stigma" is the general population's internalization and personal belief with mental infirmity. Even though dissimilar by classification, both are compiled of labels, discrimination, and unfairness. Soldiers, who experience PTSD warning signs, are more than conscious of public perceptions on emotional tribulations, and subconsciously anticipate consequences from others, for example other soldiers, sergeants and commanders. Should soldiers apprehend societal segregation due to having PTSD systems, they will decline professional help, since the apprehension in the stigma outweighs in their mind the help they would receive. Soldiers, who perceive there to be a risk of public accountability for their emotional and mental problems, will moreover hinder their quest for professional treatment.
Research reveals explicit aspects which add to differentiation of levels in seeking treatment and apparent stigmas. In two studies, Cooper et al (2003) suggests that approximately sixty percent of troops who may possibly seek out psychological help, will not. Also, soldiers with mental health illnesses are less apt to obtain professional help if they feel they are liable for the mental or emotional disorder. Mechanic et al (1994) suggests individuals with mental health illnesses may integrate this stigma into their self being; as a result, their self-esteem becomes lowered. Mechanic et al (1994) suggests it is this repressed self-esteem that lowers a soldier's motivational thought process to request treatment.
Individuals with such problems, attributing their circumstance to biological, medical or physical conditions, appear to be more content with shared relationships, than individuals who deem they are to blame for the mental infirmity. Surveys were conducted with clinically- diagnosed sources. Questions pertaining to poor health attribution, one's value of life, depressive ...
Military mental health stigmas are examined.