Make the Assignment Below 3000 words and use MLA Citations and References
Name of the Student
June, 3, 2019
Soldier’s Mental Health
This paper aims at identifying the soldiers’ mental health and the kind of traumas, stress and brain injuries that he may develop during the war. This paper also identifies what are the post-war effects on the physical and mental health of the soldiers, how can be they overcome and what are the reasons behind those stresses and post-war effects. The efforts that psychology has offered are also discussed in the paper which can be taken as a solution to the problem of the mental health that soldiers face while serving in the army.
American Psychological Association (APA) first used the concept of stress among the soldiers and their mental health became notable after the Second World War and it got fame after the war of Vietnam. In the US Army, soldiers have developed depression, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), stress, alcohol abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, suicidal risks and other ethical issues (Nami).
All these problems have been seen recently when the wars are over with Iraq and Afghanistan. Besides this, past history also shows that soldiers have been developing the same kind of stresses even in the past ages because of the tough schedules that they have to follow. Often the army negates these stresses due to privacy concerns but JAMA psychiatry has highlighted the issue and blamed the army for not providing mental health interventions to the soldiers because they completely make the army responsible for these stresses which are developed among the troops. They suggest this solution to save the personal and professional lives of the army men (Nami). Army has taken a few initiatives but they are not sufficient for the well-being of the army men and they take it as a normal course of action. But researchers are putting their constant efforts to highlight this issue to bring into the light where this issue will be taken seriously by the US army (Mark C. Russell)
Mental Health of soldiers is always at risk because when they serve in the military, they face so many challenges in military life and these challenges make them depressed most often. When a person joins the army and there he comes across war, he may face three types of stresses. The first one is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). This stress is realized when the war actions are over and the soldiers are exhausted from a tough routine in which more brutality was shown towards other people and most often innocent people were killed (Nami).
JAMA Psychiatry in collaboration with the American Psychological Association (APA) indicated that soldiers have a 15% high risk of PSTD than the normal members of the society. The side effects of PSTD are so many and it can result in negative effects which are detrimental to the lives of the soldiers. The second kind of stress is the depression in which soldiers after the war feel that they are sad and cannot perform their activities with passion and enthusiasm. JAMA psychiatry did research and found out that soldiers have 5% more depression than the normal members of society. The third kind of stress is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This stress is realized when during the war a soldier has a brain injury and later in his life, he feels that he has lost a valuable thing because his brain may not be able to function actively and profoundly. All these kinds of stresses are a danger for the mental health of the soldiers (Nami).
Recently, more than 2 million soldiers were sent to the wars held at Iraq and Afghanistan and there they faced the problems of stress and PSTD. This stress made them prone to suicidal risks and development of anxiety leading towards alcohol abuse and domestic violence. These soldiers are at high risk of depression than the other members of society. The violence that has seen in the battlefields has a direct effect on their minds, imagination and real life. This makes them violent in their daily lives whether they are at work or in their personal lives. This effect seems to be placed everywhere in the lives of the soldiers (Lieberman).
Because there are most of the men than women in the wars and this also enhances the risk of sexual assault and gives rise to stress and depression. Because troops are away from their homes and families and their natural instincts cause them to opt some negative actions which are not desired on ethical grounds and when all this exceeds a limit, it destroys their mental health and they start blaming themselves and their profession that why they would choose such a deprived life for themselves.
This may also destroy their personal and home lives because they are so much obsessed with the professional actions that they do not find it favorable for them to have peace in their own lives. This is then reflected in the lives of the other people who are associated with them both in the personal and professional lives. If soldiers are provided a balance between their personal and professional lives, this work-life balance can make them normal soldiers rather than developing an aggressive attitude (Goff).
While looking at the needs of personal and private lives of soldiers, US Army conducted a survey to find out the ways and the solution strategies to overcome the effects of the soldiers’ problems because they want clear mental health of the soldiers for the efficient working of the army. This survey was conducted form 2014-2015 and more than 7000 soldiers were included in this survey. This large population was taken to get the real results of the issue and to see whether a disturbed family life has a direct effect on the lives of the troops or not. In this survey, attitudes towards the army life, demographics, and family life were taken.
This was essential to be understood what is the real thinking of the soldiers and how does it get the difference from the views of the other members in the society. The result showed that longer tenures of military deployments in the far of areas where there are no families around of these military soldiers. This causes them to be stressed out of the routines, develop sick mental health and make a prejudiced eye towards their own profession which they might have chosen with a passion and an open heart (Sims, Trail and Chen).
There are two kinds of soldiers in the US Military. The first kind is those which are a full time, permanent employees of the army and the other ones are those who are not employed as full-time workers and military calls them only in the hours of acute need. The first ones are called Active component (AC) and the others are known as Reserve component (RC). Research shows that both of these military personnel tend to develop the same kind of stress and mental health because they go through the same situations and the same traumas during the war. PSTD, alcohol abuse, suicidal risks, stress depression, and other destructive thoughts become so common among these soldiers that they are often unable to perform their duties after they come back from the war (James A. Naifeh).
US soldiers have passed through different devastating states of mental health and even after the decades when soldiers have suffered and gone through different physical and psychological illnesses and wounds, very less attention has been given to the improvement of the mental health of these soldiers. Like all the other professions, the military is also supposed to create a favorable environment to the soldiers in which even if they have developed the PSTD, stress or trauma brain injury, they can revert it if military arranges some interventions for their rehabilitation.
The military is attributed to winning the wars and for this, if they have to compromise on a number of things, they can. One compromise is on the mental health of the soldiers who may develop stresses while fighting during the wars. Researches are lying responsibility now on the military that why are their soldiers not being protected after the warfare. First, the research shows that it is the moral responsibility of the army to behave ethically and morally towards their soldiers. Second, the army must design and implement strategies which will be a guide for the coming ages to take the responsibility of the army personnel (Mark C. Russell).
The major issue that US army has to face in the past few years is that if current personnel in the army are not happy with the services and work place in which they have to work, they may discuss their experiences with the others and this may create a bad reputation of the US army. That is because US army has tried to hide this fact from the civilians because of a few privacy concerns. This resilience is seen also in those who are currently working and also in those who might be potential soldiers but when they look at the devastating conditions of the existing soldiers they drop their decisions and do not make it happen.
US army has realized this threat that if this trend continues in the future, US army may lose a number of soldiers and others may also not appear for these roles because no one wants a life with stress and so many other negative outcomes which can be a reason to live a life without any purpose. After carefully watching at these issues, US army decided to take some actions that must go in favor of US army. All these efforts were done to create satisfaction among the soldiers and this satisfaction was meant to be a positive word of mouth for the military organization. As US army is in the need of more soldiers because of the death of soldiers during the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a satisfaction among the existing soldiers will bring more soldiers in the army and to achieve this purpose, US army decided to provide support to the stressed out soldiers (Alexander J. Millner).
When it has been realized that mental health of the soldiers is at stake and the expense that has been bored on the training and making of the soldiers, it may do wasted if remedial actions are not taken to rectify the mistakes that military has already done. Looking at this all, it has been established that the army needs to take some actions so that soldiers will be able to continue their services even after developing post-traumatic stress. Though there are issues in the identification of the issues that are particular to a group of soldiers, their mental health treatment interventions and the blockades or limitations that may come across the way still soldiers deserve a treatment and intervention policy. This will not only be beneficial for the soldiers and their families but also for the state and the army itself (Laura Bein).
After the initiation of the services of the military towards the rehabilitation of the mental health of the soldiers, it has been shown that US Military is having prejudice in serving the soldiers in this regard and those soldiers who are Americans are being given more priority than those soldiers who are African American. This prejudice is seen and is creating a dissatisfaction trend among the African Americans because in this way, their mental health which is already at stake, comes at the lowest level and this further deteriorates their mental thinking and understanding of their profession as something which has been chosen by them as a wrong decision.
This difference in demographics also needs to be addressed by the US Military otherwise there might arise severe circumstances which may lead towards internal destruction of the workforce because like all the other organizations, the army must also keep its focus on the well-being of all the soldiers, irrespective of the demographics and races (Meredith Kleykamp).
Improvement in the mental health of the soldiers is attributed to the medical and psychological treatment and this is so because, without the bodily fitness, no human being can be able to perform his chores and professional matters in an efficient way. When soldiers have seen physical and mental illnesses, they need treatments for both of these. So, psychological treatments must be integrated with medication and the activities must be designed by the psychologists in such a way along with the interaction of the military. It will help a lot because these case studies will be helpful to the military. They can design such interventional activities in the house if, in the future, they encounter any such situations where they will have to address the same issue with a wise approach (Dondanville, Borah and Bottera).
One major issue that needs to be addressed in this regard is the sleep disorder among the soldiers after they return for the war. This post-war sign is seen in a lot of soldiers which destroys their mental health. This habit of wakening for longer hours is developed during the wars and becomes a permanent habit of the soldiers because their biological system becomes like this. This needs to be rotated back to its previous states because if not treated timely, it may tend to develop high dosage of alcohol abuse and this may disrupt the normal functioning of the soldiers in their domestic and professional lives (Martha L. Lincoln).
The stress that causes problems to the mental health of the soldiers is the cut-off form the social interaction and to see the brutality, oppression, and tyranny. All these negative signs cause bad effects on the mental health of the soldiers and when these visuals are imprinted on the imagination, they cause stress and trauma. While designing interventional programs for these soldiers, an integration of social-ecological approach is utilized in which soldiers are brought back to the normal lives by having them interacted with the social class and the ecology in which they feel relieved and relaxed. This is done to make them rehabilitated and the memories of bloodshed, physical assaults, the threat of nuclear weapons, nuclear wars and the brutality and tyranny of the forces are faded if they are engaged in some social-ecological settings (Pauline Lubens).
One intervention that is used in the psychological treatment of the soldiers in the video game play in which soldiers are kept in an environment where they are engaged in the interesting video game plays and they forget the memories and negative effects of the war and this goes in favor of the soldiers who start coming back to the normal lives (Michelle Colder Carras).
The other risk that is the most pertinent and must be addressed through psychological treatment is the suicidal risk among the soldiers and psychology has offered its services to combat this negative feeling and return back to the normal living. Psychological and clinical efforts are a great way for these soldiers who are best facilitated by these psychological and clinical researchers and efforts become productive when the health conditions of the soldiers get better both on the physical and mental domains (Repke).
When a group or batch of soldiers has passed a series of psychological tests and interventions, t helps in designing the case studies for future use. The military may keep these case studies which in the future will not only save their time but also will get them closer to the productive side of the mental health of the soldiers. These case studies will also help the military to be proactive because they will be knowing in advance what must be avoided which causes high-stress levels among the soldiers. These interventions and their lessons in the form of case studies also indicate that prevention is always a better form of handling than the cure. This is valuable information for the medical, psychological, public health, military, soldiers, their families, and the general public because, in one way or the other, all these stakeholders have a direct or an indirect effect on each other (Andreas Bauer).
The mental and physical health of the soldiers has long been a subject of attention for the psychological and clinical researchers and they have highlighted the issue in the past few decades. This has led to designing interventions which help the soldiers in being a productive part of the society and the US army because post-war effects on the physical health of the soldiers are also seen on the mental health of the soldiers and if they are not treated properly, it may cause severe problems to the military itself because the money spent on the training of the soldiers get wasted if the stress, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Mental brain injury, suicidal risk, sexual assault, violence, and alcohol abuse is not treated properly and timely. US army has negated in the past, the effects of stress on the mental health of the soldiers.
But now with the increased pressures of psychological, medical and social researches, this has become quite evident that the mental health of the soldiers is considered as an integral part of the success of the military because these are the soldiers who are an integral part of the wars and only they can make the US military a success or a failure.
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